Friday, September 26, 2008

A New Look for "Herbie Lace"

Remember Herbie Lace?



Eleven days ago, Herbie Lace, our black swallowtail caterpillar, went into chrysalis form. This is how Herbie looked at the beginning of the chrysalis form.



We've watched earnestly everyday anticipating our butterfly. As time went on, it seemed a miracle that those little silky threads were holding the chrysalis to the parsley stem. It seemed to sag more as days passed. We read somewhere that if it fell off the stem (to the bottom of the jar), it probably would not emerge.

One day, one of my piano students, a very active little boy, walked over to the jar (unknown to me at that time) and began shaking the jar and turning it round and round and upside down "trying to find out what was in there." I probably scared him to death when I gasped, "Oh, don't shake it...it will fall." Being the color that it was, he "couldn't see anything". However, Herbie Lace survived the jostling!

Yesterday morning when we got up and came into the kitchen, where Herbie was on the counter, we noticed right away that the chrysalis looked even darker. (It had been getting darker all the time and we could even see an antenna part of the way out). We were actually seeing the butterfly in there with it's dark colors. This is what it looked like before breakfast.



We ate breakfast just a few feet from it at the kitchen table and completed a couple of school lessons immediately after breakfast. Then, Joy walked over and said, "Herbie is out!" And so that quickly, Herbie Lace made an entrance with the new look! Here's a picture taken right after Herbie emerged:



The next step after emerging is the draining of the fluid (almost a blood like juicy substance), and the wings are actually wet from it. Herbie had to sit there and slowly and gradually pump the wings a little bit at a time. Leaving Herbie alone for awhile to pump the wings, we went about our business. After a bit, it seemed as though there wasn't quite enough room in there to pump the wings properly, so we took Herbie out to the petunias just outside our back door. You can see from this picture that the wings are still a little crumpled and bent from being inside the chrysalis.



We came back inside, but of course we had to keep checking on Herbie. After a little while, I snapped this picture of Joy holding Herbie Lace spread out a little more. You can see the markings a little better here. I'm not completely sure, but we think we have a female as she seems to have more blue which indicates female.



After this picture was taken, we left Herbie alone on the flower to finish pumping her wings and to fly away when ready. When we left to go to dance class, Herbie was still there and when we came home Herbie was gone. Herbie is free now....flying somewhere out there proudly showing off her new look! :)

23 comments:

Mel said...

Tammy, Thank you, for sharing a bit of science with us. That is incredible! As a youngster, we used to "barrow" Mom's canning jars to catch tadpoles as we watched them grow legs and turn into toads. What a beautiful butterfly, and I never knew the color blue was linked to a female.
Cool Beans!

Raggedy Angel said...

What a wonderful transformation!
Beth

Linda said...

Fly Herbie fly!! We used to get Monarch caterpillars at school and do the whole lesson with the kids -such wonderful science.

Thanks so much for letting me know how you feel about awards etc. You made a great point about tags. I am realizing that tags are easy to answer and can indeed be very intertesting blogging stuff! It's the linking to all the ones we are supposed to pass it on that takes up the time!

Have a great Friday my friend! I will indeed pass your kind words on to Kathy!!

Jenn said...

What a great post and an awesome thing to see!

basketsnprims said...

Wow, that's amazing. I don't think I would have the patience to watch so closely & get such great photos. Have a great day.

Pam

Kimberly said...

How amazing! What a great learning experience for, well, all of us!
Thanks so much for sharing! (I wish MY camera could capture such great shots!)
Blessings, Kimberly

Tomatoe Creek Prims said...

Tammy,
Thanks so much for letting me watch this whole transformation, I really enjoyed it! She turned out so pretty.

I feel the same way about tags as you do, I feel that it let's us get to know the person more:)
Rondell

Leslie said...

Herbie is beautiful! I hope he finds himself a wonderful place out in the wild!

This reminds me of Shane in 1st grade when they had caterpillars. He was so excited every day to tell me what was going on with them...

Have a great weekend!

Leslie

Anonymous said...

I really loved this Science lesson. Thanks for sharing it with us. I always leave your blog with a smile and learning something. Thank-you.

Donna

Gettysburg Homestead said...

Oh how cool. What a great learning tool for your kids. I have butterfly bushes around my house and love to watch the butterflies on them.

Mary

Deb said...

So cute and Joy is so brave to let Herbie sit on her finger. I'd have the shakes. It's a beautiful butterfly. You all took care of her well. Deb

Colleen said...

It's all about the butterflies this week! Connor and Michaela's classes released their own little monarchs too. Talk about thrilling...

Have a wonderful weekend!

Anonymous said...

How wonderful!! I love that you keep your blog busy....keep on typing, I am thoroughly enjoying it!!

Herbie Lace is so beautiful, I love nature. I dont think my son ever did anything like that in school. Seems all they did was prep for the state tests. I dont think the teachers get to "teach" anymore....so sad. wish I could have home schooled my son. Not very popular around here though, so people are still kinda ignorant, but I am slowly appreciating it.

love
Jill

Tammy said...

Oh, wow...this was just wonderful!
You've inspired me to try this with the girls next year!!!
Herbie was blessed to get such a wonderful send-off! :)
~Tammy

Julie said...

I love nature in action--you photos should be entered in a contest--they are great!! Thanks for sharing that. julie

Back in the Day said...

That is so cool! Thanks for sharing!

Cottage Rose said...

Oh wow what a beautiful butterfly and how great it was for all of you to be able to watch it happen.

Hugs;
Alaura

countrygirl3031 said...

Tammy...what a wonderful science lesson...thank you so much for sharing! I learned alot from Herbie and you and your family too!

Have a great weekend!

Hugz,
Michele

Sue said...

That's so amazing that you captured the entire thing....it is such a beautiful butterfly. So much better than reading about it in a book!

Dawn said...

Tammy how fun, isnt it a miracle. Each one of our kindergarden classed has a science project where they order the whole life cycle of the butterfly and watch it unfold. Then we release. they kids love it. Thanks for the pics. dawn

lindanuts said...

We have a bumper crop of Monarch butterflies this year and have watched many of them chew their way out of the chrysalis. It is such a beautiful experience.....

ghomeschool said...

Joy, you are so lucky that your butterfly came out while you were home. Ours hasn't come out yet.

Bobbi

Sara said...

HI! I was just looking around and found your blog, first I gotta say, I love it! Second, that is too funny! My girls and I found a pipevine swallowtail caterpillar and gave it a home until it became a butterfly! I have the pictures on my blog too! How ironic?! =] Have a great day!!!! =]