A while ago I spied in my driveway a fat little bug sitting upon a milkweed plant that had wriggled it's way up between the driveway and the border of a garden. It was a pretty poor specimen (the plant, not the bug) and wasn't going to provide this little guy with much of a buffet. I snatched him up and put him in the jar along with a new plants, a stick and a prayer.
"Please, Please, Please don't die."
I was still feeling the sting from our last try and didn't want to have to go through that again, so I didn't even tell the kids. I thought, "I'll give it a couple of days, if it seems ok, then I'll tell them." To be fair it was in plain view over their desk. But they didn't notice, I think because that's where the jar always sits.
It made its transformation into a chrysalis with no troubles this time and hung there for a few days. They should be in this state for 10-14 days. We checked every morning waiting to see the color of the wings through the clear casing. Then one day we looked up and there was a butterfly in the jar!
We took her outside and let her go. Athena had really wanted to hold her. It jumped onto her finger and flew away into a bush where it waited for a while before going wherever it went.
(The last picture is the face mask and skin casing that it shed in its last instar.)
Thank God for second chances of all kinds.