After bathtime one evening in late June, we gathered to release these beauties. For weeks Baxter had carried around his 'patterpillars' showing anyone who would look how fat they were getting in their little container. The grew alarmingly quickly and sprouted hair and got very dark indeed - teenage caterpillars?
After a few weeks we observed that they had made their chrysalis. And even though we had witnessed them pupate I still have no idea how they did it. It was like magic. We carefully transferred them to the habitat net and waited. One got increasingly dark in colour and I worried that perhaps this guy was a goner but actually in a day or two, somehow without us really seeing what happened there was an empty chrysalis and a beautiful butterfly.
We gathered flowers and fruit and supplemented with sugar water. And one by one more (futterflies) butterflies made their way to join the others.
This is probably where I should include a metaphor about the journey of these creatures reflecting the little people who observed them with so much care and excitement but I won't, because these pictures pretty much speak for themselves. Goodbye friends, we wish you luck as you make your way into the world. You brought us unmeasured delight.