Saturday, August 07, 2010

Nearly missed it!

(Don't forget to enter the giveaway for a $40 dollar gift certificate to any CSN online store, including cookware.com.  Go to this post for details and entering.)

As we started to prepare lunch yesterday, I heard A. gasp, "Oh my gosh!"  I look up to discover our butterfly had hatched, and evidently had hatched quite a bit earlier in the day as the wings were nearly pumped up and ready to fly.  I snapped a quick picture before carefully carrying the wooden planter outside to our back porch.  I didn't want to be in the position of having to try to catch a flying butterfly to get it outside.  There was a tricky moment when the butterfly began climbing up my arm and I couldn't convince it to go back to the wood.  He continued to walk up my arm to my shirt and then onto my neck heading toward my face.  I was happy to get it off before it reached that high.  Butterflies, it turns out, have sharp little feet that they use to hold onto things.  If feels like tiny, tiny pinpricks on your skin.  Once returned to the wooden planter, the butterfly immediately started to exercise its new wings.  Not long after it flew away.

We said goodbye to three other caterpillars as well yesterday.  Outside on our dill plants we had been watching three black swallowtail caterpillars.  Like monarchs, they are also green and yellow, but they are bigger and when scared have an organ on their heads, orange and V-shaped, which they raise.  It is very cool.  We were looking forward to watching them over the winter as chrysalises and then as they turned into butterflies in the early spring, but they have vanished.  We have no idea if they walked away (no doubt because too many people were petting them to watch the defense mechanism) or were eaten.  I'll keep an eye on the dill, though, in case they come back.

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