Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Outdoor Hour Challenge: Butterflies September 9, 2010

Filed under: Exploring Nature — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 1:00 pm
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This week’s nature study was supposed to be on raccoons and skunks, but our we decided to do a unit on butterflies since our butterflies emerged.

Over the past month, we raised 10 painted lady butterflies from caterpillars to butterflies. 

Five caterpillars arrived in two separate containers. Each container was filled with caterpillar food.

After about 5 days, the caterpillars climbed to the top of the container and started hanging in a J shape.

After 24 hours of hanging in a J shape, the chrysalids formed. The interesting part is that when we moved them into the pavillion or if a breeze happened to hit them, they'd start vibrating!

After a week, they emerged as butterflies, with their wings all scrunched up.

Then they climbed up the pavillion to stretch out their wings. As they were stretching their wings, some red meconium came out.

A closeup of how a butterfly eats--the thicker line on the orange is the black tongue of the butterfly. It unrolls from the butterfly's mouth during feeding.

After keeping them for a week, we released them in honor of our other son, who passed away 5 years this week. Every year we raise butterflies to release on his birthday.

Discovering the new world around it.

Bitty Bug watching the butterfly walking through the grass.

Jedi helping the butterflies out of the pavillion

Every year, he gets a butterfly or two to rest in his hands.

Closeup of the butterfly

Another closeup

This butterfly had a broken wing, but Jedi helped him land on a flower.

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2 Responses to “Outdoor Hour Challenge: Butterflies”

  1. Kattie Says:

    Wow, your pictures are great!

  2. I always love watching this process with my children. It is so amazing to see something so beautiful come from something not so beautiful. What a wonderful way to honor the memory of your son. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your nature study and your story.


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