Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Painted Ladies

We’ve been raising Painted Ladies at our house over the last couple of weeks. We’re talking about a butterfly species, NOT procuresses of the evening.

A few weeks ago we bought Painted Lady butterfly eggs while visiting Butterfly Magic at the Tucson Botanical Garden.

© Dub Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

The eggs became caterpillars which we kept in a jar with tiny holes at the top for air. They crawled around for awhile, spinning silk here and there to hide in during the day, leaving little caterpillar poops (it doesn’t bear thinking about too much). Finally they attached themselves to the paper lining on the jar lid and each transformed into a pupa (chrysalid).

© Dub Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

I ordered a butterfly cabana from Insect Lore (you can get live caterpillars from them, too) to prepare the nursery which, at my age, consists only of something on par with a Barbie doll-sized tent. When the chrysalids hardened, the instructions said to pin the paper jar lid to the side of the cabana. And our anxious wait began to see the next stage of this amazing metamorphosis.

© Dub Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

The final miraculous transformation began this past Saturday with the emergence of the first beautiful butterfly. The second appeared on Sunday, and the final one Monday.

© Dub Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

Our three Painted Lady butterflies were healthy and stable yesterday, so we decided St. Patrick’s Day would be their introduction into the wild world outside.

© Dub Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

We released them next to our Tombstone Roses which are in full bloom along our fence.

Junie Moon: Ah, Dub Honey, our babies have flown away.

Husband: Don’t worry, June Honey, they’re just off to college.


Kristie said...

That's so cool, June!

Did you really start that rosebush from the Tombstone one???

nicolette said...

Ohhhh June, a post like this can only be found on your blog!!! You’re amazing.
I hope the Painted Ladies will find some Painted Husbands and make wonderful Painted Children to stay in your garden.
BTW how long does this beautiful butterfly live?

meg said...

What a wonderful activity for "kids" of all ages~ I'm going to pick up my own kit :-)

Yummers! said...

Sooooo cute... your conversation. As a teacher, we raised and released butterflies a lot. Never thought of doing it at home. You are so clever!

When I think of Painted Ladies I think of the houses that are painted several different colors. Saw a lot of them in Breckenridge CO. I LOVE COLOR!!

I love Nicolette's comment!

Mrs. Staggs said...

Lol! Mine is off to college too, and I sure do miss him. He should be home soon for spring break.

That looks like a wonderful project to watch progress, and it would be interesting for children too.

I love your roses!

The stitchery you asked about is an embroidered pillowcase, with a crocheted edge that I found at the thrift store. I'm thinking of dressing a doll with it.

shenry said...

Raising butterflies? That sounds like a remarkable endeavor. How fun.

Thimbleanna said...

How fun June! You always do the most exciting stuff! And it looks like Dub is well enough to be humorous -- a wonderful thing!!!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

So wonderful June! I loved Dub's comment funny!