Our very own hungry caterpillar story.

Back in July, we created a ‘garden for butterflies’ which we’ve seen flourish from day to day. We’ve also watched as our very own sunflowers have grown to gigantic beasts hovering over the fence. To go hand in hand with the start of this project, we were also sent a kit that included all what we needed for us to care for & grow our very own caterpillars then watching them evolve into butterflies. The process couldn’t have came at a more appropriate time as the girls were learning about life cycles at school & nursery.
They would come down each morning to see how they were getting on, mesmerised as each one slowly transformed into their chrysalis each day. The way they wriggled around to emerge out and stretch their wings was what they found magical. Even watching the process close up as adults was fascinating! The kit came with a specially designed net that we could keep them in for when they emerged from their pupa before going out to the wild. The girls even took them into school to show their class mates which was really sweet of them, very giddy about it all!
One morning I was just hovering around the sink area of the emerging net and I had a feeling wash over me to grab my camera, so I did just that and I actually captured a butterfly emerging – amazing!
When the time came to release them, the little ones were a bit sad as they thought of them as their pets, even giving them names at one point but we spoke about how it was the fair thing to do and that the butterflies deserved to fly properly in the garden to meet other butterfly friends.I absolutely love the detail of the face which I never realised was like this!
Inquisitive hands.

Nature is beautiful.
We’ve also been keeping a tally for different species of butterflies in our garden, and a count of the bees too. So far we’ve had ‘green-veined whites’, ‘painted ladies’, a ‘gate-keeper’ and lots of bees (and wasps….!) gliding around our lavender plants & we’ve been reporting back to the garden butterfly survey with our results. You can check out more species here. It really is a lovely & very important thing to teach our children to obviously be weary from stings, but just how great these creatures are and what they do for our planet. Here’s some information I’ve taken from the website:

 Why butterflies and moths are important.

  • Butterflies and moths are a highly diverse group comprising over 250,000 species and make up around one quarter of all named species.
  • Butterflies and moths are part of Life on Earth and an important component of its rich biodiversity.
  • Butterflies and moths are beautiful. Many are iconic and popular.
  • Butterflies are often portrayed as the essence of nature or as representing freedom, beauty or peace.
  • Butterflies and moths have fascinating life-cycles that are used in many countries to teach children about the natural world. The transformation from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis is one of the wonders of nature.
  • Butterflies and moths are indicators of a healthy environment and healthy ecosystems.
  • Moths and butterflies are an important element of the food chain and are prey for birds, bats and other insectivorous animals (for example, in Britain and Ireland, Blue Tits eat an estimated 50 billion moth caterpillars each year).
  • Every butterfly and moth has developed its own suite of chemicals to deter predators and parasites, find a mate, and overcome the chemical defences of its host plant. Each of these chemicals has a potential value and could be exploited economically.  For example, powerful antibiotics have been found in the Meadow Brown, one of our commonest and most widespread species.
All bullet points taken from the Butterfly conservation website, please check the site out for more information on this. The work they’re doing is wonderful to help protect these magical elements of nature. We have really enjoyed the process and will definitely continue with growing our garden fit for butterflies. Its not only a great thing all round but we love to do it as a family, and its something so lovely to show the kids right?Here’s our little film: (to watch in better quality, be sure to change the setting to HD 1080.)

Is this something that inspires you? Would your littles love to create a butterfly garden?

*This is a sponsored post, all images, film footage, and words are my own unless otherwise stated.
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