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    Copyright © 2009-2018
    Joan Y. Edwards and her licensors.

    Active since October 9, 2009. Thank you for reading and leaving comments on my blog.

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From Chrysalises to Butterflies

“From Chrysalises to Butterflies” by Joan Y. Edwards

Dear Readers,
It was very exciting having the caterpillars turn to chrysalises. It was even more awesome to witness two butterflies emerge from their chrysalises. Plain and simple awesome. Carl and I named the caterpillars when we got them. Carl named three boys: George, Bill, and Joe. I named two girls: Sadie and Bernice. Butterflies can tell which is male and which is female because of a chemical they release from their bodies. However, we don’t know how to tell the difference. We just chose names.

Here’s a link to see the pictures on Shutterfly from Chrysalis to the release of the butterflies. You don’t have to sign in. Just click on View Album. If you want to see a slide show, click Play Slideshow next.

If you click on the circle in the middle, it will pause the automatic slide show. An arrow will show up. You can click to the right of the arrow whenever you are ready to view the next slide. You can go slowly and match it up with my writing here. It takes a while to upload pictures here on WordPress and/or on my website. Shutterfly is the quickest way for me to do this. If you open one window for the blog and another window for the Shutterfly, it’ll be great. Or read the blog first and then view the photos. Each photo has a caption.

Most of the photos were taken through the netting of the pavilion. Thus, they are not as clear as I might have liked for them to be. However, the pavilion was bouncy and I didn’t want to bounce the chrysalises around too much. It might deform the butterflies.

June 12, 2010 Chrysalises

June 13, 2010 7:40 Still five chrysalises.
9:00 Two butterflies, Sadie and Bernice, have emerged.
10:13 George emerged. The fourth butterfly, Bill, is emerging.
10:14 Fourth butterfly, Bill, still emerging. Fifth butterfly, Joe is emerging, too.
10:15 Fifth butterfy emerges. All five butterflies have emerged.

Right after they emerge, Butterflies hang from their chrysalises for an hour or two to dry. Meconium, a liquid that’s the same color as the darkest color of the butterfly will drip from their wings. It’s like God was painting them and the paint left over dripped off their wings. After they have dried, they will spread their wings open and let them dry that way awhile. They fly about the pavilion and will go check out the orange slices, or the sugar water on a paper towel.

June 14, 2010 Butterflies explore pavilion and drink juice from orange slices and sugar water from paper towel.

June 15, 2010 7:00 p.m. My husband, Carl released two butterflies, George and Sadie. They were mating. We had never seen any butterflies mate before. They hooked together at the end of their abdomens, their heads and antenna at opposite sides. They stayed together like that for a couple of hours. The site on the internet said they’d stay together for an hour. But we checked a couple of hours later and they were still mating.

June 16, 2010 5:45 a.m. The next morning, Carl checked on George and Sadie. He said they were separated.
6:05 a.m. I went out to take a picture and forgot that the camera makes a noise. I scared them and they flew low side by side to the North. They went pretty fast. I took a picture but all I got was the air.
12:10 p.m. My grandsons, Luke and Wyatt and their Dad, Mark release the other three butterflies.
12:10 p.m. Luke was first. He chose Bernice. She flew South.
12:11 p.m. Wyatt was next. He chose Joe. He flew high in the sky to the North.
12:12 p.m. Mark chose Bill. He flew high in the sky to the North.

Painted Lady butterflies live from two weeks to four weeks. They fly approximately one thousand miles. After they mate, they lay their eggs. They usually mate for their whole lifetime. In seven to ten days, the eggs hatch into caterpillars. In seven to ten days, the caterpillars change to a chrysalis. In seven to ten days, the chrysalis changes into a butterfly. The butterfly emerges and lives two to four weeks, lays eggs and the cycle keeps repeating itself.

What can we learn from the chrysalis and butterfly stages? Can they help us to keep on going? Can they prevent us from giving up? I think they can.
The chrysalis says: Be patient. If you try to emerge before you’re ready, you may never be able to fly. Look within you. Notice all the goodness and beauty you have within you. Enjoy being by yourself.
Build your strengths. Pray.

The butterfly says: Enjoy each day of your life. Find the nectar that feeds your soul. Don’t let anyone stop you from loving someone. Look at life differently. Check out all the resources. See as many places as you can. Enjoy spending time with your family and friends.

What can writers learn from a chrysalis?
Wrap your work with silk threads. Put it in a drawer, a special place for it. Pray about your writing. Give your story a rest. Concentrate on your skills. Read three books: one for skills, one of a writer who’s made the best seller list of your heart, and one who has sold the most copies in the genre you write. I don’t know how long it’ll take you to do this. Let’s say seven to ten days like a Painted Lady chrysalis.

What can writers learn from a butterfly?
Butterflies teach writers that they can spend from seven to ten days revising a story.
Four Weeks
Week One – Rewrite a story that’s been rejected. Give character an inner problem and an outer problem. Make the outer problem symbolize the inner problem. Add a change to your character that readers can detect easily. If it’s an inner change, have them purchase or make something that shows their inner change or vice versa.
Week Two – Give readers an event to anticipate in your story. Relate two ways the event could go. Positive voice and negative voice. The reader will want to find which way the character chooses. Which way it really turns out.
Week Three – Resolve all problems by the end of your story. Don’t leave your main character unsettled.
Week Four – Read your story aloud. Is there any part where a reader could put their books down and go to the kitchen for a snack? If so, spice it up so they won’t want to leave before they finish your story.

Week Four – Spend time with family and friends. Celebrate your life where you are now.

Here are a few links I found about butterflies:

Watch a Painted Lady emerge from her chrysalis on video:
How Does a Caterpillar Turn into a Butterfly? Watch a video at

What is the Life Span of a Monarch Butterfly? Watch a video at <

Thanks for reading my blog. I’d love for you to subscribe to my blog from the left hand column.

Ask a question. Make a comment. Enjoy your day!
Joan Y. Edwards
Writer/Illustrator of Flip Flap Floodle

Copyright © 2010 Joan Y. Edwards. All rights reserved.


2 Responses

  1. Hi Joan,

    I enjoyed the butterfly experience. You gave some great writing tips too.

    Linda A.


    • Dear Linda, Thanks for your sweet comment. I am glad you enjoyed the butterfly experience. I’m glad you thought my writing tips were great. Thanks. Do something good for yourself today! Give one of your main characters a secret! Enjoy Life’s Journey Don’t Give Up – Read my blog –

      Joan Y. Edwards


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