Since my prior caterpillar post, Our Caterpillar Journey (pt 2), the large caterpillar (which I labeled a female), never made it back to the top of the cup. She stayed down at the bottom of the cup and my daughter and I were convinced that she had worked hard, but just didn't have any effort left to give. My daughter and I were happy with the one caterpillar (remember, it was the smallest one) that had successfully made it to the top and was already in a cocoon.
The following day I came down stairs to find that the large caterpillar had cocooned herself at the bottom of the cup! Imagine our excitement! We now had two caterpillars that made it farther than we thought!
About two days later, the first caterpillar was cocooned for at least four days. I started to get nervous about when to move the two caterpillars out of the cup into the habitat as I didn't want them hatching in the cup. Hence, I moved them to the habitat the following day. Upon preparing to move the caterpillar at the bottom of the cup with a spoon to the habitat, a THIRD cocooned caterpillar was moving at the bottom of the cup! SERIOUSLY?! Don't even ask me how this happened! The caterpillars at the bottom all seemed like they were goners. Again, imagine our excitement! We now had the possibility of three butterflies emerging in the coming days!
Two caterpillars emerged from their cocoons earlier this week. We were only supposed to keep them for a couple of days and then release them. We waited and waited for the third caterpillar to emerge, but it wasn't meant to be. So, today, after three days of feeding them nectar and placing fresh flowers in their habitat, we bid farewell to our two beautiful butterflies.
Upon opening the habitat, one of the butterflies was excited to escape! She took off and didn't bother to say goodbye. I can't say I blame her. On the other hand, the second caterpillar lingered. I'm fairly convinced she had some deformity or physical challenge, although she looked perfect (shown below). She couldn't fly for long and appeared to either want or need some help. My daughter helped her out of the habitat and took her to our butterfly bush.
I said a prayer for both butterflies and gave thanks for the opportunity to intimately watch their metamorphosis. It truly was a sight to behold.
Be open to what comes.