Don’t these look like earrings on a rack? They’re not. They’re butterfly cocoons. I’ve tried several times throughout recent years to maintain a chrysalis. But being a bit of a clod with delicate things, I’ve never managed to keep even the caterpillar alive.
My dear neighbor shared some tricks with us as they’ve been hatching Monarch’s all summer. Before they left on vacation, she brought over a cocoon that was set to open while they were away. She thought the kids would enjoy it and I was pleased that the hard part of keeping the darn thing alive had already been done.
We checked on the little green dangler every day. Finally on the fifth day, though we didn’t witness it’s reveal, we saw a beautiful Monarch in the netted bucket. The kids were pretty excited about it-especially Jack-Jack.
My neighbor mentioned that if we wanted to watch it a while that we should give it some honey water. Ok…honey water. Easy enough.
I put some honey water in a small ramekin and in the process of setting it in the bucket, Kevin watched as I bumped the butterfly right into the water (Clod!). It wasn’t very pretty as the young insect laid in a puddle of honey water. I tried to help it out only to find it wasn’t budging. So a bit pessimistic, we went to bed hoping things would look brighter in the morning.
Nothing had changed by morning. The butterfly was still in the ramekin and was now not moving at all. I was going to have to tell the kids, and worse yet, I was going to have to tell my neighbor that we killed it!
I did tell the kids and they immediately took it outside and sadly buried it in “the graveyard”. This consisted of Luke turning the bucket over on the butterfly and leaving it to deal with later.
When they got home from school that afternoon, Gabe went to check on it. When he lifted the bucket, to all of our surprise the little Monarch flew away. We didn’t kill the Monarch…it just had wet sticky wings. Maybe it had wished we did kill it given the circumstances, but after a little perseverance, it made it through an entire chrysalis and a week at our house. That is indeed a miracle.
These photos are not of Monarchs. They were taken earlier this summer at a butterfly house. Guess I was too caught up in the moment to get any of “the one that got away.”