I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville wife and mother with a passion for family travel, (mostly) healthy cooking, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries with you, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark.
June 28, 2011
You wouldn’t know it by looking at me, but I’ve always had a secret longing to hatch butterflies. I don’t know why I never got to do it as a kid– probably because my mother was too busy making soup from a stone in a bucket of water to bother with helping me catch caterpillars. Not that I was deprived… We kids always had at least one spoonful of cold mush to go with it!
Anyway, my butterfly bug seems to be hereditary, because the moment my children saw the Butterfly Garden commercial on television, the begging began. I let it go on for a few weeks before I finally “caved” and placed an order.
Within a few days, two plastic containers filled with tiny caterpillars arrived in the mail. The caterpillars didn’t move around much, but the kids didn’t care. They were riveted.
Consider this a “What to Expect When You’re Expecting… Butterflies.”
It didn’t take long for our caterpillars to triple in size and look like the big, fat furry things we often see outside. That icky brown stuff is their food, by the way. It’s disgusting. But it was nothing compared to what would happen next.
Now came the grossest part of the process. I, yes, I had to open the containers and oh-so-carefully pry loose the piece of paper from which the caterpillars dangled. Then I had to gently place it inside the butterfly habitat and pin it to the side. This was not easy and it was not fun!
I TOUCHED COCOON.
The hatching process occurs surprisingly fast- I was never able to quite catch one coming out. However, this part of the process brings us to gross part number two. When they hatch, they bleed. It’s actually leftover pigment from the color that creates their wings, but it looks just like blood. And it’s nasssssty.
But enough of that! We fed our new butterflies orange slices and tissues sprinkled with sugar water.
We named them: Lilly, Lucy, Molly, Christy, Mary, Clara, Ultress, and Thorazine.
What. You have a problem with that?
For days afterward, we saw our butterflies flitting and fluttering around our yard. It was definitely worth the $20 we paid for the garden, and the kids are already begging to do it again.
However, I’m trying to convince them now that butterflies are for babies. We really need to hatch ourselves a praying mantis…