We said goodbye to our butterflies this weekend. We moved our ladybirds into their special garden a few weeks ago, but we were waiting for our caterpillars to turn into Painted Lady Butterflies before releasing them.
We do this every year, but I’m still amazed by the transformation process. I love caterpillars, they are so cute and child-friendly.
Just like babies and children, they grow so quickly, they are never baby caterpillars for long enough and you have to appreciate them while they are.
All too soon, they are hiding in their cocoon. I always find this a strange time. I’m sad for the caterpillars, that we’ve lost, but excited for the kids to see the beautiful butterflies that will emerge and be set free.
We prepared some flowers ready for their temporary Butterfly Garden which would be their first home before being released into the garden.
Just before the first butterfly was ready to hatch, we mixed some sugar and water together and spooned it into a little “apple cup”.
The kids love to watch the butteflies feed. I didn’t get any good photos of them doing feeding this year.
This year, three of our butterflies emerged on the same day. Normally, I wait until they are all butterflies with strong wings, but we are still waiting on two cocoons to change. I couldn’t keep the butterflies in such a small space for any longer than necessary, so we released them.
I hope our other cocoons will turn into butterflies. All the caterpillars have survived the process so far, so I’m not sure why two cocoons are delayed this year.
They liked the basket full of buddleia that we created for them. They also liked our hedge. We have seen Painted Lady butterflies in the garden every day since releasing them, and although we can’t be sure, we like to think that they are our butterflies.
Has anyone else had caterpillars this Summer? Sometimes you can be lucky and observe the process naturally in the garden, but we get ours from Insectlore as you can’t always guarantee the natural experience.