Friday night, the last two chrysalises had just started showing their inhabitants and started to darken. I thought I had a couple of days yet before anyone hatched.
However, when I got up Saturday morning, I had two freshly emerged monarchs. All four have left a red, bloody looking goo behind on the netting of the enclosure. I’ve learned this is called meconium and is waste material.
Knowing that I would be out for the day and that these two needed time to dry out, I gathered fresh flowers to leave as snacks and planned on releasing the butterflies that afternoon.
Of course, I came home to chaos and destruction. What’s new?
When I left, one butterfly was already at the top of the enclosure starting to open and close its wings. I’m guessing that the second one joined it at some point.
Then I’m speculating that my fur crew could no longer take the unexplained movement high up on the book shelf and took action. I remember Olivia’s fascinated stare when the very first butterfly hatched and started exercising its wings. Two might have been too much.
I’m assuming that, egged on by Miles, Olivia somehow leaped the six foot height of the bookshelf and knocked the enclosure to the floor. Either that or they formed a cat ladder and stood on each other because nothing else was was disturbed.
At any rate, I came home to butterflies on the floor.
Fortunately, both butterflies seemed to have escaped the pile of objects that would have tumbled off the shelf with them.
At least one butterfly was coherent enough to talk shit to Birdie.
“Yea, you’re all tough talk inside a net, bug!”
Before even feeding the furred ones, I took my traumatized bugs out for release.
This was the type of goodbye a girl anticipates. Enough time for butterfly selfies.
The second butterfly just wanted away so it could rest in my maple tree.
In the end, four of the six caterpillars managed to make it to the butterfly stage. I’m not sure if those statistics are good or bad. Articles said to expect fatalities, but it’s never fun to see a little creature die.
Amazingly, this is one out of many, many projects that I actually got done. DIY butterflies.