Thursday, June 25, 2009

Butterflies and Praying Mantises

Charlotte and Lily got insect kits for Christmas this year, and a couple of weeks ago the actual critters got delivered by mail.

Lily received caterpillars in the mail, and watched as the caterpillars spun into chrysalis, and emerged as butterflies.

A few days after the butterflies emerged, we got to see the complete circle of life. We released the four butterflies into the yard. Needless to say, the birds were very interested... Three gracefully floated off, only after landing on both Charlotte and Lily, which was thrilling for the two.

Sammy found the hose to be far more interesting than the butterflies.

Charlotte received an egg sac filled with praying mantises nearly six weeks ago. The kids waited and watched patiently for so long. I was sure that the mantises hadn't survived, and then finally, hundreds of tiny insects came out of a sac the size of a walnut. It was amazing! We immediately let go all but five, and separated them into jars. Apparently, a hungry newborn mantis will eat everything and anything that it shares space with... We will keep the mantises for a few weeks for the girls to observe and then release them into the garden.

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