***

"So Frequently we mistakenly believe that our children need more things, when in reality their silent pleadings are simply for more of our time."
***President Thomas S. Monson (Ensign May 1994)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I Gotta Go, Gotta Go, Gotta Go To Mexico.......

Last year in second grade, McKaylie learned all about Monarch butterflies. Besides the obvisous science connection, there were 2 reasons for them studying monarchs. One, the entire school was also learning all about Mexico and since monarch butterflies migrate to Mexico it made sense. The second reason, Maine has lots of monarch caterpillars. They studied them in depth and her teacher even had a few chrysalis in the classroom that became butterflies.

McKaylie was/is our resident expert. She knows everything about them, from caterpillar to butterfly. Her favorite book last year was one that her teacher read to the class and let McKaylie borrow for awhile. I think it's called "Gotta Go". It's a book about a little monarch caterpillar, that changes to a butterfly all the while saying, "I gotta go, gotta go, gotta go to Mexico". It really was a very cute book.

This year, Vance's science teacher taught them a little about the monarchs, too. So, for several days, Vance and McKaylie went on the hunt for monarch caterpillars. They were both really excited when they found one, too. They made a nice little home for it, filled with milkweed and they waited, and hoped....... Sure enough, that little caterpillar started doing what little monarch caterpillars are suppose to do....They were both so excited to see it go into it's "J", getting ready to start it's crysalis.I have to admit, it was kind of exciting. It was hard not to get a little excited about what could/would happen.....by the next morning it was in it's crysalis and they were even more excited (and so was I)


McKaylie told us that right before it comes out of the crysalis, it would turn clear and that we could see the butterfly inside. Exciting huh?!? So, we waited paitently.....and then we waited somewhat patiently.....and then we wondered if anything was really happening in there.....and then we got down right impatient....But, that's about when we started to see signs that things were happening......

Which made us really, really excited. I mean, I'd never seen this happen before! How many people really get to see a butterfly come out of its crysalis? Plus, it was so fun to watch the kids. It was like waiting for Christmas morning, they were so giddy about it. Can you see the butterfly inside the crysalis? Amazing isn't it! This is what it looked like when we went to bed last night.This morning Vance came running up the stairs. (I heard him before I saw him) "Mom, mom, it's coming out of the crysalis. There's a crack in it!" So we hurried downstairs and sure enough it was coming out. I didn't grab my camera in time to get a picture of it until after it was out, though. You can see what's left of the clear crysalis next to the butterfly.It's beautiful isn't it, but that's not all of it. It hasn't stretched out it's wings completely yet. Vance told me that it's wing span would be 4 times as long as the crysalis. I was skeptical, but, he was right.It spent quite a bit of time (hours) drying out it's wings. It stayed on the branch just like this. Every once in awhile it would lift it's wings just a tiny bit. I had to keep reassuring the kids that when it was ready to try and fly, we'd know. Chad and Myshel left for school and McKaylie and Noah kept watch....... Just a short time before the bus came, it started to walk around and crawl to the top of the branch. It also started spreading it's wings more and our resident expert informed us that it was a girl! (Boys have one round black spot on the orange of their wings) Oh they were excited. "It's ready, mom! It's ready! We have to left it outside now!" They were right, it was ready, so, outside we went.While we watched the butterfly flutter around and get ready to fly, the kids decided to name it. Her name is Crystal, because she came out of a crysalis. I thought it was very appropriate.We left Crystal sitting on this stick and went to the bus stop. After the kids were off, I came back and checked on her but she was gone. We never did get to see her fly, which is a bit disappointing. We did get to watch her change from a caterpillar to this beautiful butterfly, though, and that's pretty amazing, I think. Besides, she's a busy butterfly......She's gotta got, gotta go, gotta go to Mexico!




3 Comments:

madsonblueeyes said...

Totally Cool. That is the most I've ever learned about butterflies!
Glad you took pictures.

Jan said...

That was like the best lesson I have ever had with butterflies. Fascinating. I think that the Mexico thing would be really cool. Thanks for sharing that great 101.

Jenn said...

I did this with the girls a couple of summers ago, but with swallow tail butterflies. It was amazing to watch. I wish I had taken pictures like you did.

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