Five caterpillars arrived a week later, and a few days later, we woke up to find two had molted into their pupas.
We were able to watch the other two pupate that morning at the breakfast table. The last one was such fun to watch--wiggling off its molt, spinning faster and faster from its hook until it finally flung its last skin against the side of the cup and fell still. We all squealed with excitement.
And then the butterflies emerged much the same way, two overnight and two before our eyes: breaking through their chrysalises, wriggling out with their front legs, waiting for their wings and antennae to unfurl and dry, then fluttering around the cage.
They have been such a treat to observe.
It stuck around a little while, finding a favorite spot on Gianna's pant leg. She stood motionless for several minutes, content to have it there, until it finally hopped off and onto a yellow clover for a quick snack, then into the hebe bush for another sip, and then over the fence and away.
I'm thinking this will be a once-a-year tradition for us.