Unforeseen circumstances indeed. Today we decided that we would release our beautiful butterflies to go and do whatever butterflies like doing. They all went off quite happily however, in a comedy of errors AB stepped on one and as he recoiled in horror and stepped back another one got a kick. In his defense they did land on the wood chips and were difficult to see. We brought them both back in to the 'butterfly hospital' but sadly one died and the other is not looking too healthy. The fourth one that emerged today still has crumpled up wings after several hours (which is much longer than the others) so I am not sure whether to let it go or not, it seems cruel somehow.... I was really loving this project, we all were, but after such a sad ending to it I don't think I would raise any again. All of these things could have happened if they were 'wild' butterflies of course but that doesn't seem to make it any easier for the poor things. We had a long discussion about whether it was right to buy or sell these kinds of kits; arguments for included the educational value and the fact that the caterpillars were reared for this so are not ready for the big wild world, and arguments against included the fact that they wouldn't rear them if we did not buy them and maybe there were somehow damaged by the rearing process or the gloop that they are fed with during the first week or so, or even by our handling of them as pupas etc. Jury is still out I'm afraid.
We all spent all afternoon in the garden planting, weeding and building shelters (them not me) and hiding under the gazebo during the downpours. DH was weilding bits of metal to each other and the kids were busy planting the 40 or so pips they had from their cherries.......... oh dear!
I also had a marathon hair cutting session and cut all the boys hair; it's really funny the conversations that we have while I'm cutting their hair. AB was first and he was pretending that all his hairs could talk. It was so funny and when I was cutting around his ears he was pretending to be his ear and saying 'oh no, please don't cut me or I can't listen to mummy any more'. Next was B; he was marvelling about the people who spend 'thousands' of pounds on hair gel to make their hair stand up so they could look good for complete strangers. He just couldn't understand why. Such wisdom for one so young. And lastly A who was discussing the comparison of brain size between early man and modern man which apparently shows that we are more intelligent (a matter of opinion of course). He was also trying to think what it would be like to have giant slugs and butterflies around - I of course am not keen, especially if the butterflies can kick back!