Our School Tour to Rumley's Farm May
Our Live Butterfly Garden
On the 10th of April, our five caterpillars arrived in a cup with a lid. The lid had air holes. We were so excited and happy. A couple of days later, one of our caterpillars died. We were a little bit sad, but we didn't mind as we had four more to look after. Our caterpillars had lots of food in their cup and were growing bigger every day. We had to handle the cup very gently.
On the 27th of April, the caterpillars transformed into chrysalides and hardened on the lid of the cup. After three days, the chrysalides were ready to move. We had to remove the silk and frass from the chrysalides before moving them to the insect lore. We moved them to the butterfly habitat by putting the lid on a chrysalis station. One chrysalis fell to the bottom of the cup before it fully hardened, so we had to gently place him on some tissue on the floor of the habitat.
After about 10 days, we are not sure how long exactly as all the magic happened during the May bank holiday, the chrysalides darkened and the butterflies prepared to emerge. The butterfly takes in air through tiny holes in the chrysalis and it splits the chrysalis open. The butterfly climbs out of the chrysalsis with soft, crumpled wings and then expand and dry their wings. Butterflies need time to rest and recover after their big transformation.
The butterfly lets out red meconium when they rest and recover. This means that they are healthy butterflies. We got a fright when we saw this first because we thought it was insect blood, but insect blood is yellow or green.
On Tuesday morning we got such a huge surprise to see 3 beautiful red butterflies flying around in our insect lore. Sadly, another one died. It was the one that fell off the lid of the cup before we moved it into the habitat. But it is OK as we have 3 lovely healthy butterflies to look after and hopefully we will get to release them into our flower garden later this week.
We grew and harvested our own vegetables and made yummy soup out of them!