Well, against all my expectations, what surely is a miracle has happened; come the first morning back after the long weekend break, five painted ladies were awaiting my early-morning arrival in the classroom.
We are still not really sure quite what goes on inside a chrysalis but it seemed that our caterpillars had all listened to their teacher and passed their pupating exam…..
unlike young Tommy here! Yes, even the chrysalis with the ominous-looking hole had learnt his lesson and transformed into an almost-perfect specimen.
When they are in their temporary ‘net’ home, mostly you only get to see them from underneath…..
(which is pretty enough) but just occasionally it is possible to get a taste of what they are like in all their painted glory.
And talking of taste, the first thing Béatrix did when she arrived at school was soak a crumpled piece of tissue with sugar-water.
She promised that soon our butterflies would flutter down to sip – and so they did (to squeals of excitement). We could even see the proboscis (or feeding tube) dipped into the liquid.
Unfortunately the weather outside that day was most decidedly not butterfly friendly (cold, windy, rainy) so we agreed that we would take care of them until conditions improved…..