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Christmas Butterflies

On Thursday, Dec 23, I looked out our patio window and was very surprised to see 3 butterflies in the window-screen “tootsie-rolls” that make up the Pupae Palace (or Butterfly Bungalows, if you prefer) underneath our bistro table/chairs. We were not expecting to see any of them until some time in April or so of next year!

But there they were. Mini, Mo and Katypillar. And here’s a picture of them…

My son thought it would be really nice to have one of them inside over Christmas. Nearly kept Mo (or it might have been Mini), but he was ready to fly away and did so as soon as I came near him.  A little while later, though, another one emerged — this time it was Fenny. And it was a good thing that we were prepared to keep one, because Fenny wasn’t ready to fly.

On Friday, with rain in the forecast for Saturday and Sunday, we tried to release him. He wasn’t able to fly yet. By Saturday, I was getting concerned because Fenny didn’t seem to have eaten anything at all. Not a good sign. So, with some perseverance, I was able to help him eat. He finally stayed still for a while on the sponge (soaked with a water/sugar mixture – same as I make for hummingbirds). Then I took a toothpick and after several attempts, very slowly and carefully unrolled his proboscis onto the sponge. He sat there drinking for a lo-o-o-ong time. Here’s a photo – notice the droplet on his proboscis :o)

On Sunday afternoon, while the sun was shining, we tried again to release him. He fluttered, rose higher, made a circle above us as though to say “goodbye,” and then he was away, ready to fulfill his destiny.

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