After hosting our caterpillars and watching them transform from chrysalides to butterflies, it was time to let them go into the big, wide world. We did our butterfly release in the early evening on Earth Day. Yes, I know, what perfectly adorable timing, right? I actually had nothing to do with it - we had planned on releasing them the day before but it was raining, so we postponed and it ended up being perfect (also, there's no real way to "plan" when the release will happen when you are originally ordering because each stage of the butterfly cycle can go anywhere from 7-10 or more days depending on the caterpillars and chrysalides - you can "ballpark" it, and our entire process went about four weeks). Anyway, Earth Day arrived and we were set for the release.
I kind of thought that the habitat would be unzipped and the butterflies would escape right out. This was not the case for us (Parker even poked his head in to check what was causing the delay, ha!).
Two did make their way out and flew off, but the others were content just hanging around. Finally, Daddy got involved and stuck his hand in. He must have been the butterfly whisperer because one hopped right on.
The variety Insect Lore uses is The Painted Lady Butterfly. They are found almost everywhere, so they are well suited to survive once released.
Parker was positively enchanted.
Max insisted that I try the same thing. I'm so happy I did because having the little guys jump around on my hand was the neatest thing! Our little guy, however, wanted none of it and was happy to just watch.
The entire process, going from caterpillars to chrysalides to butterflies, was nothing short of amazing.
We had one slow-poke butterfly (we called it the "Mande Butterfly" because as you know, I'm slow, ha!) that Parker loved chasing after.
It just sort of hopped from place to place, resting on the grass. It eventually flew of over the fence, and just like that, we were butterfly-less. For the next couple days, every time I walked through the craft room (where we had been housing them) I got a little pang of sadness that they were no longer there.
We decided growing butterflies needs to be a spring tradition for us, so we'll be ordering our caterpillars once again next year! Once you purchase the complete set (that includes everything you need including the netted habitat) all you need to do after that is order the Cup of Caterpillars (and you can re-use the habitat).
With a happy face like this one, I just can't wait to do it again!