It was an eventful animal week for mom. Normally, she stays in her office and crunches numbers.
One of mom's co-workers raises butterflies. He gave two cocoons to some other coworkers. One of them was out when her butterfly emerged, so mom got to help with the release.
This is a swallowtail butterfly. Butterflies are important because they help pollinate flowers.
After it emerged from the cocoon, she waited an hour so that the wings could dry.
Then she took the butterflies outside to the nearest bush with flowers. This provides a food source.
This butterfly flapped its wings a few times, then flew away.
This one hung out for a little while longer, exploring the nandina bush.
Yay for butterflies!