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Monday, April 27, 2009

Caterpillars and Butterflies

Monday, April 27th, 2008
Our caterpillars arrived by post this morning. We are thrilled. We noticed that they came with their own food, so we don't need to gather leaves and flowers for them. The food looks like a brownish grey lump of hard jelly, it looks awful but the caterpillars must like it! We named our caterpillars Colourdy, Crawly, Floppy, Patch and Poppy. It is hard to tell which one is which. We can't wait to see them grow. We will leave them at school where it is quite warm, and we will take great care not to shake their container.
One week later: Tuesday, May 5th. Haven't they grown a lot in a week. They have also make lots of webs in the container, and we can see at least 10 (2 each) skins that they have discarded as they grow bigger.
One week later: Monday, May 11th. The caterpillars are so big now. We are wondering when they will make their cocoons.
Exciting News: Today, Thursday, May 14th, our caterpillars have begun to hang off the top of their pot. We think they will be in their cocoons very soon. Friday, May 15th. One of the caterpillars is in his (or her) cocoon. We think the others will change very soon. Not sure about one caterpillar who is just lying on the bottom of the container and not trying to change.
Monday, May 18th. All 5 caterpillars are in their cocoons (although one is not hanging from the top). Teacher cut them into individual parts and stuck them onto some card. She made a special holder for the cocoon that wasn't stuck to the top. Now they are all safely in their pop up butterfly garden. We wonder how long it will take for them to turn into butterflies?

Our first butterfly emerged yesterday, on Sunday, May 31st. We think that it is Poppy. Today, Monday, June 1st, 3 more butterflies emerged (Colourdy, Crawly and Patch). We are now just waiting for one (Floppy).They like to drink sugared water (which we left on a tissue for them), and eat fresh flowers (we have given them dandelions). In case they are really hungry, we also left a slice of orange, banana, nectarine and kiwi. We think they will really enjoy the fruit. Now we have to wait for about 2 or 3 days until their wings grow stronger. Then we will release them to go and start their own families.

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