Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Painted Ladies

Just before labor day I ordered a Live Butterfly Kit from InsectLore.com. It arrived last week and the kids were just in awe. There were several live caterpillars in two jars. We watched them for a couple of days. The kids had lots of questions, I won't bore you or disgust you with the details.

A few short days after the kit arrived, the caterpillars transformed themselves into chrysalides (cocoon like stage) that were hanging from the lid of the jar. I transferred them into the "observation habitat" and we again waited and watched.

We didn't think much was happening. In fact, Gretch and I started to talk about returning them because we didn't think they survived. I'm glad we let them be for a few more days because I noticed something different today. The first Painted Lady butterfly hatched this afternoon.

It just so happened that I borrowed my good friend Tom's macro lens this morning for a shoot that I'm doing tomorrow. I'm really glad I had it, I was able to get some photos with some really good detail. I can't wait until they start eating and opening their wings. I hope to get quite a few more pics.

The red stuff on the netting below the butterfly is normal. It's called meconium and is the left-over color and unneeded tissues from the butterfly's wing formation. (I've learned a lot about butterflies in the past two weeks).