Monday, June 25, 2012

Raising Painted Ladies

Painted Lady Butterfly

 Early in April I received an email letting me know that one of the resource companies that I purchase homeschool material from occasionally was doing a big butterfly larvae order and since it had been a few years since we had raised any butterflies and they were willing to ship them to me I was all over it :)


 Two months nearly passed and one day there was a surprise package that needed to be picked up at the post office. Of course silly me had completely forgotten all about the butterflies by the time we reached June and it wasn't until I saw the red 'live specimen' tags on the outside of the box that I finally remembered that we were waiting for them *grin*.

Our caterpillars were well on their way when we placed their container on the mantle in the living room so they could happily munch away. Only a few days later it seemed they started to hang from the fabric top and spin their cocoons....


and the beautiful metamorphosis from wiggly caterpillar to butterfly began resulting in six pretty orange and black painted ladies. We were all captivated by them as they slowly stretched their wings, pumping blood into them and learning how to make them work. 

Butterfly House

 We got this little pop up mesh enclosure the first time we got butterfly larvae a number of years back and it has been fantastic for housing other little creatures besides butterflies that the kids bring home to visit... like frogs, salamanders and so on :)


 It was tempting to keep our little visitors longer so that we could enjoy their beauty but today the sun was shining and it was time to let them take their first big flight.

Each of the children took turns helping one of the butterflies out of their temporary home and enjoying the tickle of its feet on their palms before it flew away.

Butterfly and Flower

See the flower open
Its petals one by one -
Butterfly wings upon a stem
Waving in the sun.
See the flitting butterfly
In shimmering colours bright -
A flower free and flying
In the warm summer’s light.

~ Paul King


Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer Solstice 2012

Picking wildflowers

As we celebrated Summer Solstice it was a perfect sunny day, kissed by a light breeze as it swayed through the fields of tall grass surrounding our home. The wildflowers were all bursting heavenward in multitude and beauty as their new life that had sprouted in early spring is finally coming into its fullest :)

Our solstice cake

And just in time to!
We picked clover, buttercups and daisies to decorate our sun shaped solstice cake with.

Weenie Roast

The children enjoyed cooking hotdogs over hot embers as the fire burned low...

Warming her toes

and warming toes chilled by running through damp grass that wasn't quite dry from the wet days before.

Our Summer Solstice Cake

No one really wanted to wreck our cake by cutting into it but you know that didn't last long *grin*. I think a few even had seconds and perhaps thirds LOL.

Snowballs in June

But all the extra energy was quickly burned off by having a snowball fight in June. Oh how I love the fluffy ball shaped clusters of flowers that my snowball tree provides and they really do make for a fun summer snowball fight :)


As the sun finally dipped below the mountain range, streaking the sky with pinks and purples, we waited for the darkness to come so we could stoke up our fire and sit in its glow...


keeping warm, roasting marshmallows and setting our sticks aglow :)