Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pressing Rewind: The Butterfly Project

While I'm catching up on Facebook posts, I've been coming across other blog posts I never posted.  This would be one of them.  I started this the Summer of 2011 and never finished it...so why not do it a year and half later!  

Emerson received this adorable butterfly kit from one of Danny's co-workers and we made it into an August (2011) project.  It was a really neat learning experience for her and we had a great time watching our caterpillars turn into butterflies right before our eyes.  I think this might be another great project for this summer...time to order a kit on Amazon!!

I've included the instructions below, and then put our pictures from our experience with each step!!  Enjoy!

Instructions courtesy of:
(we did not use this kit but this gives you an idea of the process)

The first step is ordering the caterpillars.  They come separately.

This is the kit that was sent to Emerson!

Caring for your Caterpillars Your caterpillars only need the food on the bottom of their Cup to thrive and grow.  In the wild they like mallow and hollyhock plants, but our special concentrated diet is great for them.  Now watch as they eat, crawl, spin silk and grow to many times their original size!  Don’t worry if they do not move for the first day or so, this is normal.  While they are eating and growing you will see little balls on the bottom of the Cup that are the caterpillars “frass” or waste.  It should be left in the Cup. While the caterpillars are in the Cup you may gently pick up the Cup to look at them but do not shake it or be rough with them.

Important:  Keep your caterpillar Cup at room temperature (68° to 78°F) and out of direct sunlight.  Direct sunlight may cause condensation in the Cup, which is not healthy for the caterpillars.  Also, keep the lid on the Cup at all times to prevent introducing bacteria into it.

Changing from Caterpillar to Chrysalis
At normal room temperature your caterpillars should take 5 to 10 days to grow large enough to make the fascinating change from caterpillar to chrysalis.  When they are ready to change your caterpillars will climb to the top of the Cup and attach themselves, by strands of silk, to the special Disk that is under the lid of the cup.  They will hang upside down from the Disk and make a “J” shape. 

Once they are in the “J” shape, their body will change into a chrysalis and they will shed a very thin layer of outer skin that you may not even see.  During the first day while their chrysalis is forming it is very important that they are not disturbed and you must be very careful not to move or jiggle the Cup.  This is the most vulnerable stage in the development of a butterfly.  

Caring for your Chrysalides 24 hours after ALL of the caterpillars have formed chrysalides is the best time to move them into the Pop-Up Habitat.  By this time they should all be firmly attached to the Disk under the lid of the cup.  To move them to the Habitat you are going to move the whole Disk, not the individual chrysalides. First, pop up the habitat, then gently open the Cup and remove the Disk, being very careful not to disturb the chrysalides.  Using the green hook under the lid, hang the Disk securely to an inside wall (not the top) of the Habitat. The chrysalides will be hanging downward and laying against the Disk.  If any of your chrysalides become detached from the Disk gently lay them on a napkin on the floor of the Habitat next to a side wall. The chances are good that they will still emerge as healthy butterflies.  Once every day use the Mister to give them a gentle mist of room temperature water.  They will do better if misted but are OK without it.  Too much misting is worse than no misting.  As with the Cups, the Habitat should be kept at room temperature and out of direct sunlight.

Birth of your Butterflies Approximately 7 to 10 days after they have made their chrysalis your butterfly will emerge.  Although, from the outside, the 7 to 10 days of the chrysalis phase seems to be a time when nothing is happening, it is really a time of rapid change. Within the chrysalis the old body parts of the caterpillar are undergoing a remarkable transformation, called metamorphosis, to become the beautiful parts that make up the butterfly that will emerge.  
 The chrysalides will get darker as the time to emerge gets closer.  Keep your eyes on them now as you may get to witness the birth of a butterfly!  As a butterfly emerges, it will hold onto the Disk in a vertical position while stretching its wings to full size.  Don’t be alarmed if you see a red liquid, which may look like blood, coming from the tail of the butterfly.  This is called Meconium.  It’s a waste product left over from the butterfly’s metamorphosis.   
When a butterfly emerges its wings are soft and folded and it cannot fly.  Over a period of 1 to 2 hours the butterfly stretches and strengthens its wings by forcing blood into their veins.  During this time be careful not to touch or jiggle the habitat and do not try to touch the newly emerged butterflies.  Only 1 to 2 hours after emerging the wings will be full-sized and completely hardened. Your butterfly is now fully-grown and ready for flight. You can then reach into the habitat and remove the Disk and chrysalis remains.

Feeding, Observing and Releasing your Butterflies
The normal lifespan of a butterfly is 2 to 4 weeks. You will want to observe your butterflies for a few days before you release them from the Habitat. Butterflies will not eat the first day but after that you need to feed them (see instructions below.) 
Butterflies eat by unrolling their proboscis (like a tongue) and drinking sweetened water.  When they are finished they roll their proboscis back up.  Butterflies taste with their feet. You can use the Eye Dropper to place a drop of sugar water near the feet of a butterfly resting on the side of the cage to see if they feed on it. Butterflies also like to drink from slices of freshly cut watermelon, banana or orange. Once every day use the Mister to give the butterflies a gentle mist of room temperature water.  
To feed your butterflies make a sugar solution by mixing a single sugar packet in 1/4 cup of water. Fill the feeder cup almost to the top and replace the lid. The cotton wick will stay moist and the butterflies will drink the sugar water from the moist wick.  Set the feeder on the floor of the Habitat.  Keep extra sugar water refrigerated between feedings. Rinse and refill the feeder (no soap) once a week. If you run out of sugar solution you can make more by mixing 1tsp of real sugar with 4 oz of water.

After observing your butterflies for a few days we recommend that you release them into their natural environment.  This way they can continue their normal life cycle and breed and lay the eggs that will become caterpillars.  Your butterflies are not likely to breed within the Habitat because they prefer plants for laying their eggs. Painted Ladies live throughout North America so you can safely release them anywhere.  When temperatures are above 55
°F it is safe to release your butterflies. Once released, the butterflies can often be seen for several days in the vicinity of their release.  If it is too chilly, you can keep them inside for their full lifespan

We released two butterflies!!

Facebook | August, 2011


August 2 | 6:22 pm
Brooke Bandy Dever
so proud the first thing eaten (and completely gone) off my daughter's dinner plate of fish sticks, mac and cheese and carrots is the carrots!!!

August 5 | 8:43 am
Danny Dever
Breakfast with Emerson!!!

August 6 | 1:48 pm 
Brooke Bandy Dever
The Smurfs with Emerson and Danny!!! — with Danny Dever.

Ready for the movie!!! — with Danny Dever.

August 7 | 9:47 am
Danny Dever
What a day for golf!!

August 7 |  11:54 am
Brooke Bandy Dever
Flea market picnic!!!!

Flea market ice cream (and shade) with Mimi.

August 7 |  9:33 pm
OH. MY. GOD....this is not spam. Danny and I were just crying laughing at these autocorrects. My stomach still hurts!!!
(in reference to this article: The Top 15 Most Popular DYAC Texts Of All Time)

August 9 |  5:17 pm
Brooke Bandy Dever
Emerson and I love our weekly Bryce pick-ups at school!!! 

August 10 | 2:46 pm
Brooke Bandy Dever
Drop-off day for Upscale Resale for Kids, I just hope when I pick-up on Saturday, there's nothing to pick-up!!!

August 10 | 8:23 pm
Brooke Bandy Dever
Actually in the mood to write a blog post tonight and Blogger is down....go figure. Oh well, guess it can wait until tomorrow!!!

August 12 | 3:55 pm
Brooke Bandy Dever
spending some quality time with Miss Priss!!

August 12 | 8:00 pm
Brooke Bandy Dever
My first dishes post and I couldn't think of a better way to start this series than with this post for Mikey!!
(Blog Posted: The Dever Dish: Dishes | Peanut Butter Pie)

August 13 | 7:49 am
Brooke Bandy Dever
The rain today is screwing up our morning plans of a walk to Panera....go away rain!!

August 13 | 6:42 pm
Danny Dever
Watching baby Bryce!!

August 13 | 9:04 pm

Brooke Bandy Dever
Nighty, Night....feel like my head is going to explode it's so stuffy!!

August 13 | 12:21 pm
Brooke Bandy Dever
Seriously has the best husband ever, he got up with Emerson this morning, fixed a broken light over our sink, went to the grocery for us and is now having a daddy/daughter lunch and movie date with Emerson so I can rest this stuffy, not feeling great head of mine.

August 16 | 4:30 pm
Brooke Bandy Dever
Year two of dance has officially begun.....so happy to be back at Stage Door Dance Productions!!!!

August 17 | 4:45 am
Brooke Bandy Dever
Ugh...been wide awake since 3:15, and didn't go to bed til after 12:00. 3 hours of sleep isn't going to help my 6:00 am workout!!!

August 17 | 11:02 pm
Brooke Bandy Dever
Been up since 3:15 this morning and I'm fading fast....asleep in 5-4-3-2-1 Yawn...Snooze!!!

August 18 | 3:31 pm
Brooke Bandy Dever
Our butterfly project is in full force and we should have butterflies in a few days!!!

August 19 | 8:20 am

Brooke Bandy Dever
Getting excited about a jaunt to Charlotte this weekend with three of my besties, Ann JohnsonMonica Anne Malboeuf, and Ginger Speaks Long to celebrate Ginger's soon-to-be bundle of joy!!!

August 19 | 9:50 pm
Danny Dever
Updated Profile Picture

August 20 | 8:48 am
Brooke Bandy Dever
Ann Johnson's here and we're hitting the road!!

August 20 | 10:02 am
Brooke Bandy Dever
We need to superimpose Ginger into this picture....the girls!!!

August 20 | 10:53 am
Danny Dever
Pool with Emerson

August 20 | 11:14 am

Brooke Bandy Dever
DETOUR!!!! — with Ann Johnson at Concord Mills.

August 20 | 5:06 pm
Brooke Bandy Dever
Updated Profile Picture

August 20 | 6:58 pm

Brooke Bandy Dever
Rooftop pool in Charlotte with cocktails (water for Ging) and good friends!! — with Ginger Speaks Long and Ann Johnson.

August 20 | 7:02 pm
Brooke Bandy Dever
Rooftop with the girls... — with Monica Anne Malboeuf.

August 23 | 1:55 pm

Brooke Bandy Dever
Pretty sure we just had an earthquake or at least my house just shook like there was one!!!

August 23 | 4:48 pm
Brooke Bandy Dever
Watchin' Emerson get her dance on at Stage Door Dance Productions!!! — with Chasta Hamilton Calhoun.

August 25 | 9:41 pm

Brooke Bandy Dever
All these back to school and first day of school pictures have me thinking about kindergarten for Emerson next year....and now I'm a little sick to my stomach.

August 26 | 5:41 pm
Brooke Bandy Dever
A hurricane and an earthquake all in one week....Mother Nature isn't a happy camper right now!

August 27 | 9:09 pm
Brooke Bandy Dever
We had a great dinner with our friends the Giovanellos and I'm now looking forward to the date I have with my bed at 9:15. It's going to feel great to be in bed so early!!!

August 28 | 10:06 am
Danny Dever
Great Day for Golf!!

August 28 | 8:11 pm
Alice Hamlet
Family Dinner, hibachi-style 8/28/11 

Pressing Rewind: Emerson's 4th Birthday!!!

Emerson's 4th Birthday!!!
July 9, 2011

Yes, I'm two birthdays behind on the blog, so this will be a quick and dirty recap (read: lots of pictures, very little writing) of Emerson's fourth birthday party.  Emerson's birthday actually fell on a Saturday in 2011, so we were able to have her party on her actual birthday.  Emerson really wanted to do a movie party, and it was the perfect option for a birthday party.  The kids were at an age that an hour and half movie would keep their attention.  We had popcorn, pizza, cake, cupcakes and drinks.  It was cool indoors for the hot July weather and there wasn't much set-up or clean-up....my kind of party!!!

Luckily one of Emerson's favorite movies, Rio, was playing for the week of her birthday.  And, check out her name on the marquee!!

The cake table was decked out with the invite, cupcakes (for the kids) and an adorable cake (for the adults) made by a family friend.  What a great job she did with both the cake and cupcakes.  I loved the popcorn detail!!

The concession stand was open with lots of goodies and a very cute attendant!!

Emerson, her friends, and even the grandparents had a great time watching the movie and eating popcorn!! Who doesn't love a good movie and popcorn!?!?

After the movie, we rounded up the kids for a group shot before pizza and cake.

Love this little girl!!!

PIZZA, nothing better!!!

Loved all the fun friends and family that came to the party!  They all walked away with delicious white chocolate popcorn in these adorable containers!!

Emerson decided she wanted to do something nice for others.  So for her party, she asked everyone to bring an unwrapped present that we would later take to the N.C. Children's Hospital.  We were so proud that she wanted to give back on her birthday.  Check out all these great toys for the children at the hospital!

Of course we had an impromptu photo shoot after the party!!!  And everyone got in on the action, including the boys!!!

The Varsity was a great place for a party and I love that it is part of Chapel Hill history!!!  

Once home, we had a mini-present opening session for Emerson with some of the presents from the grandparents and us.  We couldn't let her birthday go by without ANY presents.  

In August we took the toys to the NC Children's Promise office so they could deliver them to the children in the hospital.  Very proud moment for this Mommy and Daddy and a great learning experience for Emerson!!

Birthday Resources: 
Printables: Anders Ruff
Cake and Cupcakes: personal family friend
Cupcake wrappers: Roundabouts Cupcake Sleeves