Things were going so well, that is, until this morning when "pro-creation" hatched. You know another thing we learned? Apparently, butterflies lay up to 500 eggs at a time. Multiply that by 6 female butterflies. Ya gettin' the picture, yet?
Those itsy, bitsy, little black dots are baby caterpillars. This just a few of the 100's we found this morning around our habitat, in the habitat, parachuting away for the habitat (literally), crawling down the bookcase, and on to the floor. They were EVERYWHERE. That's when I also noticed about 1000 little unhatched, blue eggs all throughout in the mesh of the habitat. Yep, there were more to come! Needless to say, this little science project is OVER!!!!
Da hubby and I decided as much as we hate to let the butterflies go when the weather was chilly, and as much as we have enjoyed watching the 9 little guys fluttering around, that 7000 butterflies taking over our house would no longer be any fun.
We made the tough decision to let our butterflies go in the backyard. (I am the only one I know that worries and cries over butterflies!)We would have liked to have kept them, but it seems that they still have the hots for one another which, in turn means more eggs, which means more caterpillars, which means more butterflies, which means Sonya and family would soon be moving out of a house taken over by butterflies and caterpillars.
Fortunately, the weather is supposed to be a little warmer over the next few days so they have a good chance of survival. As for the baby caterpillars, hmm, they didn't fair as well. To be honest, it would probably go down in caterpillar history as a massacre. That's sound so horrible doesn't it? I couldn't seem to get the guys into a container to take outside with out killing a lot of them - they are tiny little dudes! We did manage to get a few out there.
They do seem to be happy now that they have a big backyard filled with aster flowers to eat up on. So far most are sticking around the backyard and taking advantage of all the little weed flower things we have back there. We even let our special needs butterfly, Ricky go in the garden where there are lots of low lying flowers for him to nurse on.
So now we are back to our family of 5 + 2 doggies. I suppose the moral of this fun little story would be that you never know what you've got until they have mated and had hundreds more. Then you realize you've got much more than you had ever planned for.
Enjoy our pics and please pardon the Halloween PJ's and techno-butterfly music!
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