Why the Tree of Life?


Painted Ladies

Dunagan gave Kirven a butterfly farm for Christmas, and we waited until it was a little warmer to order our caterpillars. They came a couple weeks ago in a little plastic jar. They had plenty of food in there, and we weren't supposed to open them until they made chrysalides. Wow, do they grow fast. They literally were bigger every time we looked at them, and it wasn't long before they climbed up to the lid and got into chrysallis-making position. We kept trying to catch seeing their bodies change, but we missed it somehow. We would look and another one would no longer be a caterpillar, but a chrysallis. We then moved them to their hatching habitat, and they hung there for about another week.

We thought we would get to see them emerge one by one during the day, but at breakfast on Saturday, Daddy looked over and noticed that four of them had emerged during the night. One of the caterpillars had just turned black and didn't make it. Interestingly, that caterpillar was the first by a long shot to head up to the lid and start the change... wonder if that had anything to do with it?

We watched them for a day and then let them go. They didn't want to leave their habitat at first, but then each one flew away. Maybe we'll have more painted ladies in our backyard.


  1. oh, i have fond memories of raising painted ladies in 2nd grade. my girls and i found some monarch caterpillars last year and kept them until they pupated and then released the adults into my parents' orange trees. it was a wonderful experience. i hope you all enjoyed your butterfly raising as much as we did.

  2. Oooh, this post pricked my conscience. Eliza got this same thing for her b-day last year and we never sent in the silly card! Yikes!

    Yours look so neat, though.

  3. We've been thinking about doing this...thank you for the inspiration and pictures!

  4. We still get excited when we find crysalis forming in the garden & watch until we know the butterflies are safely hatched.

  5. We've done this once through the same kit that you used it appears and have such great memories of that as our son was with us at the time as well. (Now he is in PS.) One year the girls found there own crysalis outdoors and successfully did it themselves. We saved the little net home, so I'm wondering where it is as while my girls are older, it is so fun. (For me too!) Thanks for posting the photo.