Last year Logan recieved a little yellow framed, screen walled bug house. We collected a myriad of things in it that first day. The last and final creature to make it's way into the new home was a bright green, black and yellow caterpillar we found on my parsley. We googled "green caterpillar eating parsley" and found it was aptly named "Parsley Caterpillar." Go figure.
We fed it daily. It was ravenous.
We watched it curl up and then hide deep in it's chyrsalis. We watched it emerge and then fly off in it's new form - the Black Swallowtail butterfly.
We repeated the process and 'raised' a total of 5 butterflies over the course of two months.
This spring, much to Grandma's amusement, Logan and I planted a new parsley plant where the old one stood (and welcomed back another parsley plant that just seems to re-emerge every season.) Most people pick little critters off the plants they intend to use for cooking. Not us. We plant the very same plants hoping a mama butterfly will deposit her young on it.
And deposit they have. We have at least a dozen of them - currently in their infant black and white coats complete with little yellow spots. There are some growing into 'toddler' stage. Others little specks of insect. When they reach their big, plump green form, we'll pick off the leaf it resides on and re-locate it (leaf and caterpillar both) into the bug house. Another summer. Another butterfly to watch.
Photo 1 - Our current family of little caterpillars.
Photo 2 - Much loved butterfly resulting from our little experiment of '05.