We had the amazing privilege of hatching painted lady butterflies for the past few weeks. From start to finish, the process was absolutely miraculous, and I am so thankful for the experience! We were all spellbound as we watched the tiny caterpillars grow and flourish...
They ate and ate and ate some more. Insect Lore sent us the caterpillars in a little plastic container. There was a brown substance at the bottom that they ate. They spun silk to protect themselves and move about their habitat more easily.
After getting their fill, they all crawled to the top of the lid and got in their "j" formations. Before our eyes, they all went into chrysalis form. We actually watched one of the caterpillars turn into a chrysalis!
The next step was the part I was most worried about...moving them from the container into their butterfly habitat. I was so thrilled to have 5 perfect specimens and I was scared something would go wrong in the transfer.
I shouldn't have worried. The butterflies...ALL 5 OF THEM...hatched into perfect, beautiful butterflies one week later!!!
Aren't they lovely? We actually saw three of them emerge from their chrysalis. It was absolutely miraculous. I tried desperately to get it on video, but my camera kept giving me trouble. I was so disappointed, but then I realized that maybe God intended for us to just watch it happen with our own eyes.
And then, it was time to let them go. Painted Lady butterflies only live for approximately two weeks, and we wanted them to have the opportunity to continue the cycle of life. We released them with the hopes that they lay eggs. Today, I planted some flowers in our yard that attract butterflies, so who knows? We may see some of their "kids" and "grandkids" this summer!
I want to close with this story: One of my former students is graduating from my alma mater, and she came to our house today. She used to babysit my kids, and one summer, she brought a teeny, tiny monarch caterpillar to our house in a peanut jar. For weeks, we watched the amazing transformation take place, and she, along with us, witnessed the miracle that is the butterfly.
She told me today that sharing in that amazing process convinced her that there was no way it just happened by chance. She said that she knew for certain that there was a Creator behind that transformation. She told me today that it was a pivotal moment in her own faith.
I couldn't agree more. Only an AWESOME, amazing creative Genius could be behind the life cycle of a butterfly.
And next month, we're going to find some monarch caterpillars and do it all over again. : )