Yesterday, a good friend invited us over to her house to see her worms and “release butterflies.” You see, a few weeks ago, she decided to attempt composting food waste in her back yard. So she ordered a little kit and 2000 red wigglers, and they set to work. Now she has one full tray of beautiful, rich soil. Around the same time, her daughter was given a butterfly kit, complete with caterpillars which formed chrysalises, and turned into butterflies. You can read more about the process on her blog. Anyway, so yesterday afternoon, we went over to her house, along with another friend and her kids.

The kids enjoyed watching the Painted Lady Butterflies flutter around their little net home, and eagerly anticipated releasing them.
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My friend, K, decided to let them go one at a time. Surprisingly, the butterfly did not just fly away like we expected. Instead, it just sat on K’s finger. So K transferred it to her daughter L’s finger for a photo op. Of course, all the other kids wanted to join in the fun, so K continued taking them out one at a time, and giving one to each child (with instruction not to touch the butterfly, but just to let it sit on their finger until it decided to fly away).
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JR getting “his” butterfly.
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JR proudly holding and showing off his butterfly shortly before it took to the sky.
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M got a great lesson on butterfly anatomy from Ms. K. She seemed fascinated.
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M was a bit nervous at first, as she is really not to keen on holding creepy-crawlies. But, with encouragement, she accepted the butterfly. Her butterfly decided to hang around for a quite a while, so she had several minutes to enjoy it and get more comfortable holding it.
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M showing her butterfly to A, while I try diligently to keep A from grabbing at it.
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M trying to encourage her butterfly to fly away. It just wasn’t interested. It was quite content just sitting on M’s finger.
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After all the other kids had their turn, and all the butterflies had been released, Ms. K took M’s butterfly, and had L help her put it on a nearby rose.
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The butterfly sat on the rose for another minute or two, and finally spread her wings and flew away, to the cheers of all the children.
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This little event was so educational, it looks like I will be ordering us a butterfly kit soon, so the kids can watch them develop. Then we will have another butterfly releasing event at our house! I will likely wait until we get to the farm to do the composting, though. However, I am also considering trying an ant farm. What great science projects these will be!

 

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