Among my highlights of the Minnesota State Fair, one that I kept ranting and raving about was the caterpillar I purchased in Caterpillar Kingdom next to the Butterfly House. Today, my caterpillar hatched into a beautiful monarch butterfly.
When I bought the caterpillar (actually, there were two but the smaller one died), it came in a little plastic habitat filled with milkweed. The caterpillar ate up the milkweed, had a refill, and within a week, it entered chrysalis.
Caterpillars enter chrysalis, the cocoon phase, for 5-21 days, says Morgridge. Mine was in chrysalis for about a week and a half. Here's a video of it wiggling in its new cocoon (flip to the right to see the caterpillar hanging from its habitat shortly before entering chrysalis).
Yesterday, I noticed the outer layer became clear and I could see that there was a monarch butterfly inside ready to hatch!
This morning, it hatched! I'm so glad I had the day off to be able to accommodate its release into Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park in Minneapolis.
The crazy thing is that I cried letting this little butterfly go. I even named her after myself.
According to Gardens With Wings, butterflies are associated with our souls in many cultures. They are a symbol of resurrection in Christianity, and in other beliefs they represent change, endurance, hope, and life.
With this in mind, of course I'm gonna bawl releasing a butterfly into the wild. (Okay, I only teared up a little bit.)
If you listen closely, you can hear me tell the butterfly, "I love you."