Saturday, August 3, 2013

An Accidental Science Project

Our neighbors behind us have a beautiful garden.  They are both wonderful at growing and maintaining plants (and did I mention retired?)  I, however, am not....retired OR good at gardening.  Simple and easy is my motto.  Every year I try to plant pots and every year they end up dying and quick death. Their garden is home to many creatures, including a cute little rabbit that is eating everything in sight.

I came home from CrossFit the other day to find we had a acquired a pet from out neighbors.  We have been in a "no pet" stage for awhile, and I'm not in a hurry to change that. This one, however is welcome because its temporary....and a great learning experience for them.  

My husband couldn't remember what they had told him about it so I did a quick internet search to find this was a Black Swallowtail.  I needed to know what it was before I could care for it.

I also needed to know what to expect from this, so did some more googling.

Its about a month project.  
1-2 weeks for this late state caterpillar
2 weeks for the chrysalis
A few hours for the emerging and release

Its only been a few days but our "Calerpitter" (as my 3 year old calls it) has stopped eating, formed is silk hold and hammock and we are waiting for the transformation to a chrysalis.

In the last few days, we've observed a few things...

1. These things can eat!  My kiddos were shocked at how much parsley our little friend can pack away.  Its fattening up for its "hibernation" I understand.

2. It poops.
Another sign (I found out) that its getting ready to move onto the next stage.

3. We had another little friend that my husband found on the outside of its habitat.  The outside!  That my husband put back in when he found it.  A small little caterpillar that can easily crawl out of the holes in the container.  So since we can find it inside, I'm pretty sure we have a little something crawling around our kitchen.... 

Here is some more info on Black Swallowtail Caterpillars and Butterflies....

(I love that from CC my kids (and I) already know the "Kingdom, Phylum, Class... ")

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