Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Monarch Magical Metamorphosis
We watched the life cycle of the Monarch butterfly in class. We started with 3 lowly yellow, black and white striped caterpillars in various sizes. Each were tiny, focused eating machines munching almost continuously on their only food source - milkweed. At the appointed time each moved to the top of the aquarium and onto the screen to turn into a chrysalis. This is an amazing process and one rarely seen because it is so fast, but this year a couple of the early arrivers did get to see it happen. They attach themselves and then hang vertically until they shed their skin one last time in a writhing dance of change. Then the final transformation and the becoming. The kids watched faithfully and waited patiently for the final step. The BUTTERFLY! Yesterday was the day. You should have seen the excitement as they announced to each kid to enter that we had butterflies! Two of them! These two actually hatched out on Sunday, so I got some flowers and put them in the aquarium with them.
They were restless and ready to go early on Monday morning. We left the last chrysallis hanging in the room and went out to free them. I let it walk across each child's hand on its way to Mexico. Amazing to see them lift off and fly for the first time...can you imagine, really?
So, while we were celebrating the release of the first two (and really we brought one back inside to rest a little more because he couldn't fly very far) the last one decided to emerge. Stevie saw it happening and Connie got some pictures almost immediately after it was hatched.
Later that day, Flutterby #2 was getting restless again and as soon as I opened the top of the aquarium to try to get him out, he decided to fly on his own...right out the window thankfully. Mariposa #3 went on her way at the end of the day and everyone went home wearing a beautiful monarch butterfly with the #3 on the back. I hope they shared their excitement with someone at home.
What miracles have you witnessed lately?
This is a sad last time...won't be sharing this miracle with little ones anymore....