20101022

Megsy # 61- See a Butterfly Emerge from its Chrysalis

Ever since reading Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar in Year 1, I have always wondered about that moment when a butterfly emerges from its cocoon...or chrysalis, as it turns out. I had one of those green and clear plastic bug catcher toys as a child but never managed to find a butterfly-to-be. So I headed off to Butterfly World in St Alban's, Hertfordshire (just outside of London). Coincidently, author/TV presenter/Natural Historian/OBE recipient and Patron of Butterfly World, Professor David Bellamy was on hand to tell visitors about how Butterflies are environmental barometers or the modern day 'Canaries of the Mines' and that we need to help protect them.

So, I patiently waited in the Butterfly Breeding enclosure, in 30+ degree temperatures for nearly 2 hours (I know what you're thinking, but I wasn't about to cheat). But then, it happened! A butterfly began to wriggle free and climb cautiously onto its now empty chrysalis, all in under a minute. Its wings were crinkled and wet at first but slowly it began to unfold to show its markings of orange and blue on black. I was surprised to learn that butterflies can live up to a year having believed that they had to go through a life cycle in a week. 


Finally I went into an enclosure where hundreds of butterflies and moths fly freely. It was hard not to swat the ones that landed on my head! Another goal realised :-)





Author/TV presenter/Natural Historian/OBE recipient and Patron of Butterfly World, Professor David Bellamy and me at Butterfly World, Hertfordshire



Eggs on a leaf, thinking of Eric Carle
This caterpillar has 200 brothers and sisters!





The moment I'd been waiting for...my bubba butterfly emerges!



Wings are crinkled an wet



Isn't she beautiful? A perfect 10/10/10

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