So, by the end of the day, most of the butterflies had emerged...including the one that had fallen to the bottom of the cage! Six butterflies! I think that is a record for our room!
Today, we decided, was "Butterfly Release Day." Our state does standardized testing in 3rd and 5th for elementary levels, so we needed to wait until after the fifth graders took their Reading test today. Then, we marched outside for the release! Let me tell you, the butterflies were READY! It was like they knew! All morning, they had been flying around the enclosure. While the kids were sorry to see them go, they understood we could not keep them as pets.
If you've never had caterpillars/butterflies in your room, I highly recommend it! It's such a fun experience for the kids! Once you have an enclosure, you can reuse it each year and all you have to do is reorder caterpillars each year, which costs anywhere from $12 to $20, depending on the company you use.
So, most of our butterflies took off as soon as the cage was open....FREEDOM!
Two took a little more encouragement. Finally, there was Fred. Don't ask me why he's named Fred, it just seemed "right" at the time. My kids were chanting "Fly away, Fred!" and "Here We Go, Fred, Here We Go!" (clap clap). Finally, I had to take the bowl he was clinging to out of the cage, yet he still clung to the paper towel.
All sorts of theories abounded with my students. He was getting a last drink. He didn't want to leave us. He was scared. He just liked us. He liked getting his picture taken, or being on video, etc.
I will say, it did give us a nice impromptu lesson on butterfly anatomy, including pointing out the proboscis to the class!
Finally, in a rush of wings, Fred soared to freedom.....away from his companions (who smartly flew to the woods)....to the other side of the bus lot. I was worried about Fred. Fortunately, when it was time to take the kiddos to the buses today, there was no sign of Fred, so I'm hoping he finally made it to someplace nice. Several of my students swore they saw him at recess (at the end of the day) flying around, so hopefully it's true.
Good luck, Fred!