For the past month, the ILA students have been the proud foster parents of 12 Painted Lady Butterfly offspring.
The tiny caterpillars arrived by parcel post early in April, and were set up into two “nursery cages.” Since then, the children have raptly observed them growing into larger caterpillars, then climbing their container walls, suspending themselves from the cloth ceiling, and spinning themselves into mysterious gray-brown cocoons.
After some ten days in the cocoons, in one of the cages, the new butterflies began emerging, damp and exhausted from their effort. They then rested awhile, tentatively flapping their new wings while they dried. Each new hatchling was cause for joy and excitement from the students.
Liberation for the first six butterflies came on afternoon of Friday, May third, when the entire school trooped into the back playground to say goodbye to them.
To our great collective relief, the butterflies of the second cage have also begun hatching, two on the afternoon of Thursday, May second, and three others on Friday, May third, after we had begun to give up hope for them. We are eagerly anticipating our last hatchling sometime this weekend; the next liberation day is planned for Monday the sixth of May.
This post is also available in: French