Catching Up

July 4, 2010

So many things have happened since my lens went in to be fixed. Nikon is amazing! I think the lens was gone for just over a week. They looked at it, fixed it, and returned it, all under warranty within 10 days! It works like when it was new. Yay! I will attempt to catch up on my blogging with events from the last month and a half…we’ll see though…

During the Lilac Festival, the week I sent in my lens for repairs, we went to check out the Master Gardeners’ tent, thinking Erin might find a plant she wanted. While we were there, they were giving away butterfly larvae. They came with instructions for how to care for them, so I decided we could raise a batch of them. The instructions were fairly simple, but I had a hard time imagining that it would actually work and all those fuzzy caterpillars would turn into painted lady butterflies. We followed all the directions carefully, except that instead of putting the cocoons into a small cardboard box with netting covered windows, I made them a 2′ x 3′ screened box out of scrap wood. We bought a couple of butterfly attracting flowers and put in some oranges and moistened sponges for them. After a couple of weeks, we had nothing but cocoons. A short time later, the butterflies began to emerge. It had to be one of the coolest things. Erin had made a light box for some seeds she started in early spring, so we set the light box near the butterfly enclosure with the flaps open so the butterflies would have lots of light. They only live a couple of weeks, but they sure were neat to watch.

Once all of them had emerged, they numbered  just over 20.

One of the conditions of taking them was that they could not be released into the local population. This was because they had been “bred” in a lab in So. Cal. so they were not native to the area and could potentially introduce something bad to the local population. At first my kids thought that was cruel, but I pointed out that our butterflies were safe from predators, would not have to worry about wind, rain, drought, etc. Their only worry was a nosey dachshund poking his nose at the screen on occasion, lol! They finally agreed that our butterflies were probably happier than those in the wild.

All in all it was a fun learning experience. The only downside is that the butterflies do, in fact, stink after a while!

One comment

  1. That was such a cool experience! It is a shame butterflies have such short lifespans. They are such a delight to see! Glad Erin got the chance to see them upclose and personal!

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