May 11, 2011 at 6:00 am
About 6 weeks ago, I ordered some caterpillars in order to do a nature project with my kids. I realized about a week ago that we could have just found a monarch caterpillar on a milkweed plant and saved $16.
But baby steps, right?
Today I would like to share with you my Caterpillar to Butterfly Journal in order to help you decide if raising caterpillars is right for you:
March 27 — Ordered butterfly larvae. It only took two years from when we received the habitat as a birthday gift. I lost the original certificate for free larvae when I put it some place “safe.” But that’s OK, the caterpillars are on their way!
March 29– Such a busy day — homeschool co-op, picked up bulk grain order, lunch out, played with friends …
Oh my gosh! Larvae were scheduled to arrive today!! Totally forgot about the caterpillars. I really hope I don’t come home to a box of dead bugs.
March 30– Got larvae! They are so tiny. We are all fascinated. And to think in 7 to 10 days they will form chrysalises!!
April 10 — Caterpillars are disgusting. Their little cup is nasty and gross. I feel like we are raising a jar of poop.
April 11 — Do something.
April 12– They are doing something! They are hanging upside-down in little Js. They are so beautiful and not disgusting.
April 13– Chrysalises! They are amazing! How do they know how to do that! And to think that in just 7 days they will be beautiful butterflies …
April 20 — Liars.
April 21 — Packing for trip to St. Louis. I have tiny toothpaste, camera, plenty of clothing for everyone … Oh for cryingoutloud, what am I going to do about the stinking pupas?
April 22– Emergency e-mail to friend and I have the following advice: Put some cut-up oranges in there and leave them somewhere where the cats won’t eat them. Awesome ideas. Need to go get oranges, though.
April 22 (Later) – Caterpillars are just like real pets. You think they are just going to be cute and awesome but they are actually a huge responsibility which is slightly irritating because THEY ARE BUGS.
April 24– We are home. Whole lotta nothing from the pupas. I probably killed them with citrus fumes. On the positive side, the bathroom smells lovely.
April 26 (10:30 p.m.) – Developed nasty cold during trip. I am so very sick. This bed is so soft and warm. What? Why is my husband asking me questions? Does he not know I am dying?
The butterflies are hatching? It sounded like he said the butterflies are … oh no. That is bad. We have no oranges. We have no flowers. I can’t remember the sugar to water ratio because I think I might have accidentally overdosed on Vitamin C and elderberry syrup.
April 26 (11 p.m.) — Hello local grocery store, you are still open? Great! We need oranges and flowers and no I am not unstable.
April 26 (midnight) — We have a butterfly. It is beautiful and amazing. I feel like I just watched a birth. (Not really, but I feel like I am supposed to feel like I just watched a birth.)
April 27 — The kids are so excited! They got to see one emerge!
April 28 — We have to set these things free before they die. But it is 12 degrees and snowing.
April 29 — Becoming increasingly worried about butterfly death. They are just sitting in there.
April 30 – See above. 12 degrees. Sitting. Repeat for 7 days straight.
(Finally, on Mother’s Day, it is a beautiful day and it seems safe to release the butterflies.)
May 8 — I take back everything else. That was actually pretty cool. One little guy just doesn’t want to leave. I have secretly named him 16 Dollar Load of Responsibility. Don’t worry. It fits him.