Every single day in our new STEM lab is all about sharing exciting moments with kids and staff members. Two weeks ago we had two Monarch caterpillars which made chrysalis’. That was exciting in and of itself but today when I went in to work I was delighted to see this in the net cage.
Her wings were so soft and pristine looking, she really was a beautiful sight. And yes, I got some good photos for making thermofax screens. And to think of all that time I spent chasing butterflies at the garden center this summer…
Part of me was just thrilled that the butterfly was alive. Last weekend I had taken the cage home in case they emerged from the pupa over the weekend. This past Friday I had forgotten and it was a three-day weekend! When I remembered on Sunday I felt awful, especially since my family will tell you I don’t have the best of track records with taking care of animals although I maintain that some of the loses were truly tragic accidents over which I had little control. But I digress.
Because we had nothing to feed the butterfly I figured it was best to let her go soon in the day. After the morning mass of kids who stop by the STEM lab had all had a turn at seeing the butterfly we had a third grade class come for a lesson at 9:30. They had studied butterflies last spring and I know their second grade teachers would have been thrilled to hear all the things they remembered. A second grade class sneaked by to all take a look and what a great prompt that will be for them next spring when they study butterflies and can remember back to seeing the cycle from caterpillar to butterfly this fall in the STEM lab.
It was a cold and overcast morning but I figured mother nature knew what she was doing when I found those caterpillars in my yard three weeks ago! So, outside we went with the cage to let the butterfly go. It was reluctant at first to leave the cage and I had to put my hand in and let it climb on and then it still would not fly away. I finally went to a nearby bush to place it on the leaf where it was happy to suck in some morning dew.
I know it was an experience I won’t forget and I hope the kids enjoyed it too. Happy flight to Mexico little butterfly.