Monday, October 05, 2009

Charlie, Ruby and Chomper

This is not a salad.

We have three new (temporary) additions to the family.

Meet Charlie, Ruby and Chomper the Swallowtail caterpillars.

Our newest residents used to live in the garden parsley at the piano teachers house.

Now they live in a glass serving-bowl, lined with plastic wrap, on our kitchen counter.

Apparently, there is the teeniest-tiniest baby, that calls our counter caterpillar condo "home". You can see him in the picture above. He's the speck on the branch that is horizontally persuaded .

We'll see if he "makes it" before he's named.

I don't want to get attached.

We've been told that they will eat us out of "house and home" in parsley. Luckily our neighbor has a huge parsley patch in her garden and has given us unbridled access.

Then they will make themselves a Chrysalis. In a few weeks, if all goes well, we should be releasing butterflies into the great wide world.

Over the weekend, this trio has been wildly entertaining as they mow down their parsley village.

You might ask why I have wrapped my glass bowl in plastic wrap?

Well, unbeknownst to me, caterpillars have an amazing capacity to, uh-hmm, use the facility.

To put it bluntly, they poop. A lot.

Next time I see a small fish tank at a garage sale I am TOTALLY going to scoop it up!

The only down-side of this latest venture is that they really don't smell so good. Which grosses me out. But it's worth it to see how a butterfly is made.

Happy Monday!


Lisa said...

So cute! And I LOVE their little names!

Kendra said...

How cool is that?! Science lessons abound with those creatures. We found some similar-looking critters in our flowers beds this morning, but I'm not nice enough of a mom to bring them in.

Gretchen said...

We watched a tent moth come to fruition, so to speak, on our kitchen counter, several years ago. Even though it was basically a pest, we loved watching the process of Harriet's change from caterpillar to moth. Have fun, & know that I'm proud of you for putting up with smells in the name of science. ;)

Carpool Queen said...

Caterpillars stink? Who knew? So proud of you for taking one for the home team.

Amber said...

You are a rockstar mom.

How exciting to see them when they turn into butterflies!!!!

Tracey said...

Yay for you! Sorry about the smell, maybe once they zip up in their sleeping bag, you won't be able to smell them or their 'droppings'.

Thanks for the pictures!

stephanie j. said...

We know all about these :) BTW, the poop is called, "frass". Right before they develop their chrysalis, they will do one last HUGE frass cleanout.

I love their names.

Anonymous said...

aww they are so cute!! I am sure your kids are so excited!! I hope the little one makes it!

Woman Interrupted said...

My husband mentioned doing something like this after we visited the butterfly exhibit at the museum. My four year old would be blown away!

Anonymous said...

My littlest boy would be so impressed. He's quite the lover of all things buggy.

Tiffani said...


I would have to REALLY talk myself in to I not looking at the pic correctly?? Is nothing covering them up?! They're just eating parsley in an open bowl?!

It's late and I may not be looking at it correctly...anywho...

My kids would LOVE that and I'd do it b/c I love those little young'uns..enough to do many things I said I never would!

Enjoy your newest family members!

Jolanthe said...

We usually have monarchs and found a swallowtail on Labor Day. Not quite a week later, he went into his chrysalis.

We're still waiting. :) Did you know they can go all winter and 'hibernate'?

Yeah. I'm hoping it'll emerge sooner rather than later.

lisa@littlesliceoflife said...

My 9 year-old daughter got a Butterfly Treehouse Kit for her birthday last year. Our "pets" were Painted Lady butterflies. It was so fun to watch them change! We all got a little misty-eyed when it was time to set them free!

The Buntens said...

Oh, very cool! Can't wait to watch them!

I saw 4 fish tanks at the Goodwill store the other day. But I also recently picked one up at WalMart for $10.

Good luck!