Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Caterpillars are amazing. They are eating machines. All day long. Instead of getting full, they grow bigger and more hungry. Their rolling movements are fascinating, like watching the Wave go around a stadium.
We had so much fun observing the five caterpillars on our parsley plant. Alli especially enjoyed letting them crawl on her hand. Ruby liked pointing to them and smiling her toothy smile.

On Monday, one of our caterpillar friends crawled up a stick near the parsley and started to transform. All day long it stayed frozen in place on the stick. Nothing seemed to be happening, but we had to keep checking all day long. By Tuesday morning, the caterpillar had changed completely.
The chrysalis is magnificent. It is about half the size of the caterpillar, so it must be cramped quarters inside. The caterpillar was bright and squishy. The chrysalis is dark and hard.

Three of the caterpillars wandered off to change without telling us where they went. A chrysalis is hard to spot if you don't see it being made. Hopefully when those caterpillars emerge as butterflies we will see them again.

Alli took the one remaining caterpillar to preschool in a plastic jar with holes punched on the lid. Her classmates observed the caterpillar and drew pictures of her (her name is Jessica). By Tuesday night, that caterpillar was starting its chrysalis.

We are counting down the days until the butterflies emerge. Black swallowtail butterflies stay in the chrysalis stage for about one week.

We are thankful for the wonders of nature unfolding on our patio, and we are glad we can share this with you.


Grandma Joyce said...

Thanks for the science lesson. It is fascinating especially with the pictures. Alli and Ruby are very lucky to have such a smart mom!

Andy said...

When I was a kid, we did not have the internet to figure out how things worked. When we kids wanted to learn about something interesting like this, we would ask our parents and they would just make stuff up. Its crazy to think how much things have changed.

stephasauri said...

Thanks for keeping us updated! I'm so excited for butterflies! I really like the picture of Alli where only the caterpillar is in color. Very cute and artsy.

Stephanie said...

Those are some beautiful pics!!!