Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Our Caterpillar Friends Set up Camp in the Butterfly Treehouse
Early one morning last week, Sherri (our sweet next door neighbor) rings the doorbell at 7:30am excitedly, to give us a clipping of milkweed. Having just rolled out of bed not too much sooner than the bell rang, I just looked curiously at her standing there, wide smiled holding her milk weed. UNTIL it dawned on me that on a leaf of that milkweed munched ferociously, a very plump monarch caterpillar! He was beautiful, stripes and happily eating away at that leaf. The kids and I scrambled around for a home for him, then remembered that Olivia had gotten a butterfly treehouse for her birthday in Kindergarten. Perfect home for a growing caterpillar. Within a day, he'd chewed up a good majority of the leaves and left the LOTS of poop behind, bigger than I'd ever expect to come out of a caterpillar. Interesting observation, to Olivia's concern (how will we clean the poop out when they're done in there??....Very carefully). Upon clipping more milkweed for our caterpillar friend, we stumbled upon another, wait two more, THREE more caterpillars munching away over at the neighbors milkweed patch. We brought them in to the Butterfly Treehouse and made them cozy with their other caterpillar buddy (who was looking like he was getting much too big for his skin). Low and behold, not even a day later, we found him up at the top working hard at getting rid of that skin and caccooning himself up into his chyrsalis. Ian and I were both impressed at how fast he worked, it took him minutes ( I expected hours if not days) to get the job done. Not long after, the other plump caterpillars found their spot at the top of the Treehouse and did their thing, while the littlest caterpillar indulged himself wildly in the rest of the leaves left all to him and him alone. It didn't take long before he too, started to look like he was going to burst out of himself. I suspect he'll be a chrysalis within a day or two as well:) Now we sit and wait, and of course no yelling in the house as to NOT disturb them while they grow into butterflies. Darn it, now why can't I have them all year long?