It was practically a hostage situation!
Insect Lore Butterfly Garden. With great fanfare, Maya unwrapped a box containing the garden, essentially a mesh cage, and a post card coupon. Our caterpillars arrived a couple of weeks after the coupon was sent in, just as our family scattered away on multiple road trips.
Good thing our neighbor rescued the poor bugs from our steamy metal mailbox.
When we met them, the yellow and green caterpillars were already spinning their cocoons. Layer by translucent layer, they built beautiful, iridescent homes right before our eyes.
All the while we prepared for yet another road trip. The poor caterpillars were due to complete their transition at any time, and we certainly didn't want to miss the big day. So into the car they went.
Grandma acquiescing to Elliot's demands: "I want some more Mercy Watson!"
These easy-going bugs were well-behaved if somewhat unorthodox house guests. In fact, when they emerged on Saturday and Sunday, they offered endless entertainment for crowds of people at a few different family gatherings. They met baby Delainey, along with three sets of Maya's grandparents and one set of great grandparents.
Unfortunately, I never did get a great picture of our Painted Lady Butterflies, which are just as colorful but slightly smaller than Monarchs. So this stock photo will have to stand in for me.
They now reside somewhere in our garden; thankful, I'm sure to be free of the frightening avalanche of over-packed chaos in the back of our car.
The last butterfly in flight, gleefully escaping the rather flimsy mesh transport vehicle that at one time or another was crushed by falling pillows, bunny crackers, and a Mercy Watson book.
The best thing is, we can send away for more caterpillers at any time, and keep the entertainment going. Or switch it up and raise tad poles or lady bugs next time.