Saturday, September 7, 2013

Hatching Butterflies

Early in August my youngest and I were down at the garden doing some gardening and other chores. I have a large rue plant in the garden and it was covered with caterpillars. McLarin wanted to bring them to the house so I grabbed one of the rabbits feed pans and pulled off at least five of those squirming butterflies to be. I thought they might be Monarch caterpillars, but their coloring was a little different so I wasn't sure.

We brought them to the house and the girls got out the butterfly house and placed the caterpillars inside with a twig of rue plant and several moistened cotton balls. Within a day or two all of them had spun a chrysalis on the roof of the butterfly house. Then we waited.......and waited.............and we didn't have long to wait. We came home from running errands one day and there were three butterflies in the butterfly house! They definitely were not Monarch's. The girl's were asking what they were and I told them I thought they were Swallowtails. We googled Swallowtail butterflies and looked at pictures online. Sure enough our butterflies were Black Swallowtails! We were all thrilled and delighted at this discovery!

A few days later they found several more butterflies and put those in the butterfly house also. I lost track of how many Black Swallowtails we hatched, but the number was impressive to us. Here is one of the few pictures I managed to take as we released them into the wild. Several of them didn't seem to want to leave us and this one clung to our dining room curtains.

The girls were so excited to hatch a different type of butterfly than what they have hatched the last few years. You can read more about Black Swallowtail butterflies here  and also here.

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