Day 21: 9 Little Butterflies

Yesterday, five more butterflies hatched, for a total of eight butterflies...and today, another emerged from its chrysalis, bringing our total to nine!  We are thrilled to have witnessed the journey these resilient creatures have made.  It seems as though every time we check on them this week, another chrysalis had been shed by a brightly-colored painted lady. 

Nancy Gessner of MCTV, Inc., who is responsible for bringing the gift of butterflies to the Massillon Museum, came to visit the winged beauties yesterday, and witnessed the fourth butterfly hatching!  Nancy shared her excitement and her eye-witness account with the Museum staff: "I was amazed at how quickly this one entered the world.  I was watching them and turned away for a moment.  When I looked back, it had emerged about halfway.  In the blink of an eye, it was fully emerged and free.  I don't know if this was coincidence or not, but...the others had been quietly hanging on the net.  As soon as the new one emerged, they began fluttering about as if to welcome the new arrival."  She happened upon a wonderful moment that could have been easy to miss, as butterflies apparently hatch quickly from their chrysalids.  Nancy was able to photograph the butterfly as it was hatching - see her photos below. 

Notice that the wings appear to be a bit crimped, or wavy; this is because they have been folded within the chrysalis, and are wet upon hatching.  They need time to dry before they can spread to their full wingspan. 

Tags: butterfly, butterflies, In the Time of the Butterflies, painted lady butterflies, The Big Read, NEA Big Read
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