It was chilly this evening! As I was wrapping myself up in a blanket and sitting down to type, I began to think about how fast summer went by. Why, shorts and school supplies are on sale and my Facebook Page is flooded with adorable pictures of school-aged children wearing backpacks and toothless grins!
I want to spend some time sharing just a few of my family’s summer highlights. My husband’s career in Camping is such a blessing to our family for many reasons. One of them being that my son’s have the opportunity to immerse themselves in nature and witness extraordinary miracles – like the birth of a butterfly. My oldest once stated this summer that he was “rich with caterpillars,” and boy, was he ever!
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We found many different varieties of beautiful, interesting (such as the White Tussock Moth Caterpillar pictured above), and simply bizarre caterpillars (like the Polyphemus Moth Caterpillar pictured below), but our favorite ones to collect were the Monarch Caterpillars.
Milkweeds were abundant on camp, so Monarch Caterpillars were too! We gently captured them and brought them home to munch inside of our butterfly habitat. We loved finding caterpillars that were the size of our fingernails! After about two weeks of non-stop eating, the once tiny caterpillars grew to be fat and long. Soon afterwards, they climbed to the top of the butterfly habitat, hung upside down, and hardened into a chrysalis.
On the day that a Monarch will be born, the chrysalis becomes translucent and you can see the details of the beautiful orange and black wings of the butterfly inside. It slowly begins to shake as the butterfly emerges.
We were so lucky to see this! My boys were fascinated, excited, and proud as their first butterfly was born! After several hours, the butterfly was ready to be released outside.
Releasing the butterflies and seeing them fly for the first time was always thrilling! My boys cheered and followed them throughout the yard.
Raising butterflies and moths has taught my children about patience and respecting insects. I look forward to the opportunity to do this again next summer!
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