My friend came over with her kids recently and brought her butterfly pavilion. She knew my daughters love butterflies and they had about six butterflies that had hatched and were ready to set free. “Would we like to help her set the butterflies free in our yard,” she asked me. “You bet!”
My friend told me how she purchased the butterfly pavilion on Amazon. With the butterfly home you get a certificate for 6-10 caterpillars, a feeding dropper and instructions. Mail away for the caterpillars and when they arrive plop them into the pop-up pavilion. Watch the caterpillars eat, grow and turn into butterflies, lasting 2-3 weeks. The dropper is for leaving sugar water in the pavilion for the butterflies to drink. It is also recommended to put flowers in the pavilion to give the butterflies a resting place.
If you purchase your caterpillars in the winter time, the instructions recommend that you keep them in their pavilion for their entire life span which is 2-4 weeks, but if the weather is above 55 degrees you have the fun of setting them free outside. This means, you still have time to order the caterpillars, watch them grow and release them.
We took the pavilion into our yard and unzipped the top. The butterflies didn’t immediately fly out like I thought they would. They let us pick them up and gently release them. One butterfly landed on my friend’s son and was pretty happy to stay right there. (The entire time Sting’s “Free Free Set Them Free” played in my head.)
I loved the look of wonder on our kids’ faces as they witnessed the butterflies up close and then watched them fly away. Apparently, butterflies don’t fly away too far and are likely to still be in our yard. I told my daughters that from now on every butterfly we see could be one of the butterflies we set free.