Friday, September 09, 2005

Our COOL summer project

Madison was asking ALL summer to do something COOL! How about cleaning your room? That's cool! Then those lovely eyes would roll, just like any other 6 1/2 year old (going on 13) would do. So, Matt decided to order some monarch caterpillars online. We had found a caterpillar a few years ago and watched it change into a butterfly and the girls loved it, so we thought we'd give it a try! Well, we managed to kill all the first set (when they arrive, they're so tiny you practically need a microscope to transfer them to the new container!). It was alright though because if you manage to kill at least 1/2 in the first 72 hours the company will send a new set out!! While we were hunting for milkweed (the only thing they will eat) we did manage to find a couple of bigger caterpillars, and it's a good thing too because those were the only ones we managed to keep alive. By the time we were done with the whole process, I wondered if we got these caterpillars for the kids or for us. Matt and I would sit and watch these little creatures and be amazed by the changes into a cocoon and into a butterfly. The kids thought it was cool too, but we had to keep saying, kids, come watch, come on, come see this!! We even videotaped the caterpillar changing into it's cocoon. That was impressive. It kind of unzips it's skin and flips inside out (not really, but that's the best way to verbalize it!) . The girls ended up naming the butterflies Becky and Emily. So now whenever we see a monarch, they say, hey, there's Becky, hey, there's Emily!! Alright, it gets the stamp of approval for COOL summer project!
Enjoy the photos.

See it??

Ooh, that tickles!

How many can you see in there??

The classic "hanging J", that means it's ready.

Time to hibernate

All done.



Not so cool anymore mom!!

New home (Becky)

Another new home! (Emily)


Stephanie Aurora Clark Nielson said...

beautiful children!!!!

Lorien said...

Cool! My 7 yr old wants to do this. I told her we'd try it in the spring. The problem with my daughter is that she'll want to use them for her bug collection once they hatch out. I'm afraid she's a little like her biology-teacher mom...actually, it makes me so proud my buttons are gonna bust!

Julie said...

When I was little, we used to find monarch caterpillars in the (now non-existent) field behind our house. My brother used to put them in quart canning jars with some of the milkweed that grew back there and we'd watch them do their thing. My mom also took pictures of my brother with one of the butterflies. Ahhh...such fond memories. Darn those developers who put homes back there in that field!!

Bek said...

This would be right up Lauren's alley. My dad sent her a Monarch Butterfly made of Nylon and she made it a "home" in our tree. The Children's museam here has a butterfly garden. Also, in February, the Monarch's migrate to Mexico and there are places you can drive to (near my house) to see them. It is pretty cool.

Great idea.

wendysue said...

Lorien--you could totally keep them!! They would love your beautiful garden, just plant some milkweed for them!!

Bek--I love our children's zoo's butterfly garden, they have a big enclosed glass with all the different stages of cocoons, etc. When winter hits here I'll tell the girls that you saw "Becky and Emily" heading to Mexico!!

The place we ordered them from is but I think they only ship to east of the rockies, but they have some good info if you happen to find some on your own. . .(or if you kill off all of them like we did!)

Bek said...

Did you know that Miles is afraid of butterflies? I remember telling Lisa once that she could bring her kids out to visit and we could go to the butterfly garden. She told me that was Miles version of hell.

Poor Miles.

La Yen said...

I love this! I wonder if I can get any in Tejas. I did just order Venus Fly Traps off of the internet, so maybe I should pace myself...

wendysue said...

Bek--What is it with those Clark boys, bananas AND butterflies??? It's a good thing they have Lisa and Phoebe to even them out!!!

Jen. . .hmm. . . caterpillars and venus fly traps, that could be a good show, but no so much for the kiddos.