Today's Snack: Butterflies get
their nutrition from flower nectar. Nectar is basically sugar and water. You
can make your own "butterfly shake" out of peach nectar, which is made from
peach juice and added sugar, and usually found in small cans near the juices in
the grocery store:
Fill a tall glass half full with
Pour 4 oz. of peach nectar into
Fill with 4 oz. of sparkling
mineral water, and stir
You can garnish the edge of the
glass with a peach slice: cut the middle of the slice almost apart, leaving a
little peach flesh on the skin, and then it'll "crack open" to rest on the top
edge of the glass
Be sure to drink your "butterfly shake" from a straw. Why?
See below. With that drink, have a plate of graham crackers.
New Year's Eve
paper noisemaker (one per child)
Straw (one per
Sugar, water and
a pan in which to boil them
you know butterfly tongues are hollow, like a straw? They are soft enough to
coil up inside the butterfly's mouth, in a spiral shape. But they are still
firm enough to uncoil into a long, rigid straw that the butterfly can stick
into the flower and suck up the nectar.
Look at the amazing complexity of
a butterfly's tongue. Also note the detail on the eye, nearby:
To see how the tongue works, take
a paper New Year's Eve noisemaker, blow into it, and watch how it changes from
a curled-up spiral into a long, straight shape. That's exactly what a butterfly
tongue is like, only it's also hollow and able to carry wet nectar up it
throughout the lifetime of the butterfly.
Now let's make some butterfly
nectar. Into a pan on the stove, put one part sugar to nine parts water. So if
you measure out one tablespoon of sugar, you should add nine tablespoons of
water. If you have a lot of children who want to do this, use one cup of sugar
and nine cups of water. Now take a spoon and stir. Bring to a boil over high
heat. Boil for one minute. Turn off the heat, take off the burner, and let it
cool down a little bit.
Then pour the nectar into a sturdy
cup, like a coffee cup, that won't tip over in grass. Place it outside.
Now, gripping a straw in your
teeth, "fly" up to the coffee cup like a butterfly, and, still holding the
straw in your mouth, stick the straw into the cup so that you can suck up the
You can try to make your straw
more like a butterfly's by flattening one end of the straw with your teeth,
clamping down on it over and over, and then curling it into a spiral, and
further clamping down on it with your teeth, until it is soft and pliable, or
bendable. Can you "uncurl" it and suck up nectar through it? You might be able
to mimic the real operation of a butterfly tongue this way - or maybe not. But
it'll be fun trying!
You can learn more about
butterflies at a site like www.butterflywebsite.com