Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Two hungry caterpillars

We are caterpillar crazy today. The black swallowtails are pillaging our parsley. Soon they will be beautiful bivouac-like cocoons.

Last year I gave up the caterpillar fight and let them have the parsley. No Seven dust. And was rewarded with sighting a butterfly emerging.

This year, I actually moved two into the house and bought extra parsley! The girls are smitten. Their very own very hungry caterpillars. Their wide eyes peer into tiny insect lives.

And so begins our first home school science experiment. Meet Eric...
and Carle...
Big one does not understand how long this venture will take. We walk to the grocery store, and she expects butterflies when we get back. Small one doesn't understand what we're doing at all. She just wants to poke them, especially since they send out these crazy orange antler things whenever you touch  them {I looked it up - they're not toxic}. 

Truth be told, I'm having the most fun. Not only enjoying the girls' discovery. I like the idea of hatching butterflies in my house. I like having a science project sitting on my dining room table. A natural wonder unfolding before our eyes. I like the teaching. No doubt these will not be the last caterpillars to find their wings in our home.

For helpful hints on raising soon-to-be butterflies: Joyful Butterfly


  1. I vaguely remember our dad catching monarch caterpillars when we were little (I was 4 or 5). We were so excited when the went into the pupa stage. I remember how when they hatched out of the pupae we wanted dad to help them. He explained that the act of pulling there bodies out helped to make their wings bigger so that they could fly. If he had just cut the pod to let them out, they would not have survived. Pretty sure there is a good life lesson there. -Dan C.

    1. We'll have to repeat this experiment if we want the girls to remember it. For now, Gwenny is happy to count the caterpillars, three more have shown up. They both think Eric and Carle have become rather boring.


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