Another monarch caterpillar raising summer, indeed. We've enjoyed finding the eggs on milkweed, carefully bringing the host milkweed leaves home, watching carefully as they hatch, eat, eat and eat more. They crawl up to the top of our box, just as they did last year, hang themselves upside down in the "J" position, and suddenly, POOF... the yellow and black stripes are replaced with a surreal green and gold dotted chrysalis. It is so amazing, every time. This year the kids and I were lucky enough to be watching as it actually happened, to witness nature's miracle. Although we're not homeschoolers, I think we've learned more than a year's worth of science curriculum with these critters over the past weeks. They will go on and on to strangers about the food that monarchs eat, the fras they poop, the positions they take, the cycle of their lives and even where to find milk weed in Minneapolis. Strangers look at me and grin.
While we wait for the next cycle of monarchs to begin again (they sometimes have four cycles in a MN summer), we're learning about Painted Ladies. Our neighbor brought us a kit with six teeny tiny caterpillars. The learning curve starts again.
And you? Any creepy crawlies in your life lately?