My site is about my butterfly gardening experiences, so I guess I have
to share my mistakes too.
This butterfly had a difficult beginning. First, it hung to make its
chrysalis before I had an unoccupied bug box to put it in (I don't like
to have different kinds of caterpillars in a box in case one is sick),
so it was in a different container, with a stick, and fresh food (Cassia),
and a bit of plastic wrap on top. Yes, it had air holes.
This silly sulphur ignored the stick and stuck to the plastic. Of
course, as soon as I moved the plastic, it came off. I carefully wrapped
the sticky stuff it spins to the end of a cooking skewer.
The contrary critter emerged while I was at work, and I wanted to take
pictures of it before I let it go. That's easy right after they emerge,
but a lot harder after their wings dry and they can fly away; they do.
Since I didn't want to risk losing it, I took it into the bathroom, shut
the door, made sure the lid was closed (no swimming butterflies in my
house!), opened the box, and got it to crawl onto my finger. ...where it
stayed for a nanosecond or so.
I chose that particular room because it's small, and easy to catch them
in. I go there, or in the car, to photograph things that will probably
fly away from me. Eventually they land, I get my pictures, then I catch
them and let them go outside. The car gets hot though, and if I turn it
on to run the AC it vibrates just enough that the pictures aren't good,
so it's only good in the winter (right, Florida... there IS no winter
here!) I also get nervous about them getting sucked up the AC intake. So
I chose the bathroom this time.
This butterfly had already tried to chrysalize on the plastic,
demonstrating very little sense of self preservation. I should have
known better. There was a little tiny bit of spilled shampoo (pump
dispenser and kids...) on the windowsill in the shower, and it went
right straight to it and landed on the screen with its wings in the
I caught it, held it gently between my hands, and rinsed off its
wings. It was not happy! Then I put it on the wall, and coaxed it to
pose for that open wing photo above where I figured out that it's a male
Orange-barred Sulphur Butterfly.
Since this butterfly had such a traumatic beginning, I tried to be extra
nice to him. When I took him outside, I released him on
in case he was hungry.
Ok, I was going for that nectar photo too. I didn't get it. He sat
there for a bit, and then flew to the top of the nearest tree without
even tasting the flower.