36/52: Children

During the second half of Labor Day weekend, Seth and I visited his parents for the day.  I witnessed perhaps the coolest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.

You probably can’t tell what this is.  This is the emergence of a baby butterfly.  Can we call them baby butterflies?  Does that really mean it’s a caterpillar?  At any rate, this is a brand spankin’ new butterfly.  A child, if you will.

My mother-in-law is a science teacher–probably the coolest, most passionate science teacher ever.  She collected caterpillars a couple weeks ago, stored them with food, and let them make their cocoon in the jar.

Fast forward five to ten days later and I was visiting.

She announced that a butterfly had come out of the cocoon, so we watched as she collected the butterfly with her finger.  As we were releasing the butterfly to some flowers, a second one emerged.  We missed its beginning.  So, we waited for the third one to hatch; when the cocoons are black, they will hatch within the day.  So, we figured the third one was coming soon.

More than an hour later, after discussing child birth beyond my comfort zone, here she came.

We noticed that the butterfly came out head first; even my mother-in-law didn’t know that.  When butterflies first emerge, the abdomen is super fat and short and the wings are short and thick.  Eventually, the abdomen began to pulse, stretch, and thin out as the wings lengthened and thinned.

Check out the entire set of pictures I posted to facebook.

A butterfly mother,


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