While the rest of the country is feeling the cool fall temperatures, here in South Florida we are still feeling the heat. So earlier this month our daughters and I re-planted some milkweed, and watched as two friendly yet hungry monarch caterpillars devoured the delicious plant. We captured the metamorphosis from a caterpillar to a butterfly on my cell phone using the VSCO CAM app! (My favorite camera app.)
And after buzzing through our entire plant, the two caterpillars crawled down to the side of our pot and formed chrysalises one at a time. It was a strategic move as they hung from the planter’s ledge!
We checked the chrysalises before church Sunday morning and noticed they were both black and transparent, we could see the wings of the butterflies! So my resourceful husband set up the Go Pro on a time lapse. When we returned home an hour later, there waiting for us was a new friend.
And here’s the video of the butterfly emerging. Just to fully explain how geeked out we are about this, we’ve set up the Go Pro at least three other times trying to capture this moment, and we finally got it!
from a caterpillar to a butterfly, caught on camera!
I also did a quick scope on Periscope when we found the new monarch butterfly. About an hour later we checked back to find this, the 2nd butterfly!
The girls have had so much fun watching them grow, counting the caterpillars, and shooing away the blue jays who always try to eat them. And every day after school they race to the back yard to check on their little friends. Just proves that science can be fun!
We started our butterfly garden back in the spring as a tribute to our cat Riley that passed away. Since then we’ve had seen many life cycles of butterflies, but this one was so unique because A) they actually survived and didn’t get eaten by another species, and B) they stayed together and emerged as butterflies on the same day just an hour apart. So cool!
how to start your own butterfly garden
If you’d like to start your own garden, all you need are some pollen rich flowers to attract butterflies, and loads of milkweed. Like seriously, tons of it. We had 6 monarch caterpillars at once and they ate every last leaf! Your local nurseries will usually group butterfly attracting plants together.
If you’re up north it’s probably too late to start this, but for my southern friends, I highly recommend picking up a milkweed plant or two with your kids this week. Maybe you’ll be able to capture moments like these, from a caterpillar to a butterfly!
That is so incredibly cool! Thank you so much for posting it!
Melissa (Wading Through Motherhood) says
Oh wow, I want to try that. I always see those butterfly kits but this is way better.
This is so awesome. I can’t wait for the kids to wake up so I can show it to them. We have been stalking caterpillars to try to find one but have not been successful.
This is so amazing!!! Your pictures are gorgeous and the video is awesome. If you’re a geek, then I am too!
This is so awesome! I would be geeked out too! I have never seen a butterfly emerge like that and I will totally be showing this to my kiddos tonight!
That is so amazing. We live near an awesome Butterfly Garden called Magic Wings. Scarlet got her own kit for Christmas awhile back but we still haven’t sent away for the.. whatever you send away for. Larvae, maybe?
Anyway, I can’t wait for spring.
Kimberly Cox says
This is so awesome. Thanks so much for sharing this with us 🙂
Tarynn Playle says
This is seriously the coolest thing ever! How fun for you and the kiddos to watch it all first hand. And your photos at gorgeous!! I always forget how much I love butterflies.
Live from the Playroom says
EEK!!! This video is amazing!!!
What a sweet project to do with the kiddos.. super sweet. Love this
that’s why i love arizona too! can’t beat the weather (if u can handle the heat)! we’ve done a buttery garden before! super cool!
What an amazing video! Your girls are quite lucky to have been a part of that. Looks like your butterfly garden has been a wonderful tribute to your cat.
Aubrey @ 53 Weeks says
Very cool! Nice capture!
Megan from Frugal Finds During Naptime says
This is awesome! My girls would love to do something like this. I’m going to have to get a kit or go to a butterfly garden. 🙂
Heaven Smiling says
So cool. It reminds me of grade school when wet had a chrysalis in our classroom. Thanks for sharing!
I’m glad you liked it! So easy too and fun for the kids!
Sam @ Raggedy Bits says
WOW!!! What a beautiful experience to have with your kids!! Their smiles say it all!
Keisha Gardner says
That is totally amazing! I love butterflies, and this is fascinating! Thank you for sharing. #TotallyTerrificTuesday
Bonnie morgan says
I LOVE this post! Exciting. I would love to attract some monarchs. I have yellow and blue swallowtails, and gulf fritillary in my garden. Is it too late in the season to find milkweed?I live in south Alabama.
No Bonnie, not too late! BTW..we LOVE blue swallowtails…wanna trade?!
Ellen Oliveira says
So beautiful. we’re members of Butterfly World in Coconut Creek and it’s so lovely seeing all the butterflies!