Saturday, September 4, 2010

Science Has LEFT The House!

Remember this from my SCIENCE is IN THE HOUSE post? -->

This was 07:47 pm on Aug 23rd. The cocoon has looked like this ever since that day (on the outside, anyway). A day or so after that photo was taken, I created a safety net for it by securing some cheesecloth to the ceiling with some monster thumb tacks, and there it's been ever since. It looked like that this morning when I left before 7:00 am for the farmers market.

But look what I saw when I got home:

A butterfly! Actually, when I got home, the wings were together, and the butterfly was hanging upside down from the now-empty cocoon. I'd read they need at least 30 minutes for their wings to dry, and that's why they hang that way. I grabbed a chair and my camera, and by then his wings were open like in the photo.

You can see he's still hanging on with his legs, though:

Handsome red arrows, non? :)

He flapped his wings a few times:

... and I waited ... and waited ... and finally he let go and fell into the "net". I worked fast, pulling out all the thumb tacks, and using the cheese cloth as a butterfly net, I took him outside, laid the cheese cloth on top of a bush, and opened it. He hopped out:

Just look at that body!

Blackest black with bright white spots! He's getting his sea legs. I knew he'd eventually fly away, so I took as many pics as he let me.

Here he is with his wings all the way open:

I wanted you to see how furry his body is! I only wish I'd gotten all of that bottom wing. Right after this, he hopped around a bit more, then flew away. Gone. Just like that.

I went back into the house and got a better look at the cocoon:

Completely transparent. Hmmm ... If I hadn't been so worried he'd appear when I wasn't home (which HE DID), I could have seen the cocoon more clearly and maybe caught the color changes. Eh, whatever. He LIVES!

In other news, today's market was FAB-U-LOUS ... weather-wise, anyway. I have a bazillion photos, some of them even decent and in focus, and I'll post a separate entry for them later tonight or tomorrow morning.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Beautiful! He picked a good place to make his 1st home!

  2. thanks for the pictures of Science. Very neat how everything 'unfolded' (pardon the pun :))

  3. So glad the cheese cloth worked. !

  4. It's not every day that you get to see a newborn/hatched butterfly. He is gorgeous and I'm glad you were able to get some photos before he flew away.

  5. Fantastic! I'm so happy for YOU - saving a life, witnessing life. Sweet!

  6. It's wonderful that you were able to see this. Not too many people get this chance! And the butterfly is beautiful!

  7. WOW, it didn't take long for this caterpillar to transform into a butterfly...short gestation. So glad you had the cheesecloth at the ready to keep him safe, and then take him to his new home, the great outdoors. Beautiful pics of him too!


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