Our last monarch caterpillar emerged from his chrysalis yesterday as a beautiful butterfly!
For the past two years, Gramma has sent a batch of caterpillars and milkweed (those caterpillars are voracious eaters!) to Utah during a fall grandparent visit. This year, Buddy and Grammy made the delivery - there was a little incident with not being able to carry caterpillars on to an airplane (who knew?) and so they had to check an extra bag at the last minute and pay the extra bag fee... but I digress.
Our last magnificent winged beauty hatched yesterday - two hatched while Grammy and Buddy were in town and Sam took two more to school, so this was our last one! We celebrated by parading him around the house before setting him free outside. Don't worry, I think he survived all of our affection.
The whole process is really pretty fascinating - they come out with shriveled, saggy wings like you see in the top picture and over the course of a few minutes pump fluid into their wings so that they stand out straight and can fly. I still marvel that all of that beauty is trapped inside of a lowly caterpillar. Maybe there's hope for my transformation yet :)