Thursday, August 14, 2014

Nature Study: Butterfly Lifecycle and Identification


Nature Study

Black Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar

     While walking through our garden, my son noticed that our fennel plants were being ravaged by a group of rather large caterpillars. Since we had extra students with us this summer, we decided to bring capture them for an impromptu nature study.  We carefully collected them and safely placed them into our butterfly garden kit. Afterwards, we provided them with fennel and kale leaves as well as long sticks to provide height and climbing structures for the caterpillars. For a few days, we watched them and observed their behaviors and then, this happened...

     It's amazing how quickly it happened and the children were so glad they were able to witness the moment. Our little caterpillar sat in its chrysalis for nearly 7 days. We were a little nervous after having witnessed the Monarchs, that we ordered, only take 2-3 days to emerge from their chrysalis'.  We were pleasantly surprised to see this beautiful Black Swallowtail Butterfly flapping around in the netting. We took a few moments to observe the new butterfly before releasing it into the garden. There is nothing like witnessing the beauty of nature!

    If you happen upon the opportunity to study the life cycle of a butterfly, here are a few resources that we have used and enjoyed:



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