The birds and the bees of butterflies
We got our six-year-old a butterfly habitat for her birthday. Essentially, it’s a mesh enclosure that comes with a gift certificate for caterpillars.
The caterpillars were quiet at first, but after a few days, they got active and started spinning themselves into their cocoons.
Ten days later, butterflies emerged.
So we took them to the park to give them their freedom.
We unzipped the lid to free them, and waited for them to fly away.
But they seemed quite content to hang out in their little habitat sipping orange juice.
Eventually, one flew away, and then another. But the remaining two were just hanging out on an apple core, giving no indication that they were thinking of going anywhere anytime soon.
After a while, I reached in and nudged the apple core a bit to see if the would move.
So I picked it up, and they both just continued sitting there. Since it was already in my hand, I lifted the applecore that held the two butterflies out of the enclosure and gently placed it on the grass. They just sat there. So my daughter decided to share a flower with them.
These butterflies showed no indication that they even noticed our existence. They only had eyes for each other.
They were really into each other.
Could this be a mating thing? The directions that came with the caterpillars did warn us not to wait more than a couple days before releasing the butterflies, or we would end up with a bunch of very hungry caterpillars that we would need to figure out how to feed.
These poor butterflies get no dignity, with all the detail of their first date broadcast across the internets. Also, they should get a room.
But it did give us a good opportunity to discuss the birds and bees a bit.
After a while one of them takes an interest in the flower Gem was holding out for them.
Oh, but then they discover each other again. This time a hookup in the grass.
She (or he) heads out on a stroll through the grass, while the other one watched her walk away.
Bye bye, beautiful.
Then they both flew away.