“From Caterpillars to Chrysalises” by Joan Y. Edwards
When I started teaching kindergarten in 1993, I ordered caterpillars from Insect Lore order page and a box to put them in and show your students the life cycle of a butterfly. I’ve always loved butterflies. When I was little, I was guilty of catching them with a net. I let them go. I never could stick them in a book or a glass case like other people did. When Carl and I were married, we released butterflies. I had ordered Painted Lady butterflies. They emerged 10 days too soon. I couldn’t let them live half of their lives in a container. I heard that they only live two weeks.
So I found two women who raised Monarch Butterflies in a nearby town. As it happened, they had Monarchs that had just emerged. The women put each of the Monarchs in a separate envelope. They said I could put them in the refrigerator or in a dark closet. I chose the dark closet. They hibernated. Then we released them on our wedding day, September 6, 1997.
Here are directions for Monarchs: Mr Butterflies http://www.mrbutterflies.com/instructions.htm
Here are facts about Monarch butterflies.
The ones I have from insect lore are Painted Ladies.
Here is a link to the directions for the Painted Lady butterflies:
Here are pictures I took of the ones I got from caterpillars to chrysalis stage on Shutterfly. You don’t have to sign in to view them. Just click on View Album on the left. If you want to view as a slide show, choose Play Slideshow. You can pause it with the circle in the middle.
All five caterpillars became a chrysalis on Sunday, June 6, 2010. The two girls, Sadie and Bernice were first (I named the girls). Then George, Joe, and Bill (my husband, Carl named them) made theirs by Sunday evening at 6:00 p.m. It was almost like I could watch it happening right before my eyes. I saw one that was half chrysalis and half caterpillar. Neat.
I moved the chrysalises (can also be called chrysalides) to their new home today. I removed all the silk so they wouldn’t get tangled up in it when they emerge as butterflies. I used scissors to cut through the silk webs so I wouldn’t pull on the chrysalis (cocoons). I taped the round disc of paper they were hanging from to the top of their home. They are happy campers. They may emerge as butterflies as early as next Sunday or as late as Wednesday of next week – 7 to 10 days.
The following page has a video of Painted Lady butterflies emerging. Cool.
Just before the emerge, the chrysalis turns from the golden color to a dark black.
Go to http://www.insectlore.com for more information on butterflies and other insects.
Like the butterfly, what helps us to Never Give Up is being willing to accept change. Look for the good things about being in the stage you’re in right now. See if you can compare yourself to the egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, or butterfly. You’re at the perfect time in your life for change or you can be ready for it in 7 – 10 days…your butterfly stage could last as long as nine months if you’re a Monarch. Choose how to change what your thinking to expect good, powerful things to happen to you. Imagine your joy and celebration when you get what you expect. Allow yourself to be happy.
As Linda Andersen, SCBWI member from Fayetteville said, “Someone needing an inspiration for a writing project might enjoy doing this (ordering caterpillars) and those who need a break from all their writing/reading can try it as a way to refresh themselves and remind themselves that their rough drafts will become beautiful works of art.”
Enjoy living today. It’s a gift.
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Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2010 Joan Y. Edwards. All rights reserved.
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