Tuesday, August 20, 2013


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Our first Black Swallowtail butterfly emerged this morning from it's chrysalis.  I thought it would take longer! On August 8th, we brought 2 caterpillars in from the parsley plant outside.  On August 10th, the first went through the pupa stages and formed a chrysalis.  On August 11th, the other followed.  Since then, they've just been sitting on the kitchen counter.  Last night we noticed that one looked almost black, a change from it's previous brown color.  Sure enough, I looked over this morning while making my pumpkin spice syrup, and saw a newly emerged butterfly climbing up it's stick.  And I screamed.  Oops.  It was odd looking, but I think it just startled me to see something moving in the now very clean kitchen.  My kids were much more brave about the situation.  We delivered the other chrysalis to the school this afternoon - hopefully it will wait until tomorrow morning to emerge (first day of school!) so Eli's classmates can see it too!

Here are a group of pictures documenting the changes this caterpillar went through to reach it's emergence as a butterfly this morning:





newly emerged

Beside the shell it came out of.

This was taken just before she flew away!

I'm pretty sure this was a female - the markings on it's back were very muted.  Pictures of males I've seen show bright yellow spots along the top pair of wings.  

Here are some pictures of the kids "holding" the butterfly:


  1. What a beautiful picture story, and a great lesson for the kids learning about this beautiful creature!

  2. Thanks, Lisa! We all learned a lot! I might try to plant milkweed to attract some Monarchs!

  3. I am so excited that you were able to share this with the kids. There is nothing better than seeing it first hand. Keep up the being an awesome momma. :)

  4. Thank you!!! We will certainly be hunting for more, the kids loved everything about it!