Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Caterpillars Under My Nose

Have you noticed that this summer BUGS seem to be a common topic on my blog? Do you think it might be because I have two little boys? Hmmm....

I am starting to think that I need to subtitle my blog: Honey Mommy, a.k.a Boys and Bugs!

Since Jonah is so fascinated by insects right now, I have been on the look out for a caterpillar. Now there is one bug that I personally find fascinating and not in the least bit revolting!

I thought it would be fun to keep a caterpillar, feed it leaves, and watch it make a chrysalis. Maybe we would even get lucky and get to see the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly!

I have been looking everywhere in my quest for a caterpillar. Any time we went on a walk we kept our eyes peeled. We looked in our yard and at the park. The only time I have ever spotted any caterpillars was when I was out on a long bike ride. When you are 10 miles from home on a bike it is hard to figure out where you are going to keep it until you get there, know what I mean?

So I had all but given up on finding a caterpillar this year. I thought we were getting too close to fall and winter, so we wouldn't find one. Then last week I was outside and decided to water my hanging petunias.

Wouldn't you know it was crawling with caterpillars!

So naturally I ran and got my camera first, and then got some mason jars. I caught three of the little guys that evening, and have since noticed at least four more that I have left on my plant! So basically my petunias have turned into a caterpillar sanctuary, and I didn't even notice until now!

Smile for the camera!

So we have three little caterpillars in jars and more on my plant. We are hoping to watch their life cycle here in the next couple of weeks. I am pretty excited about it, but definitely not as excited as Jonah! He has decided that the caterpillars are his new pets! (I even managed to let the leaf bug go without him even noticing!).

We really hope that we get to see butterflies at the end of our experience. Do any of you experienced mommies out there have tips to help us out?


  1. What a great project! I don't have any advice, but I hope it works for you - how fun to watch a caterpillar become a butterfly! Good luck!

  2. Since I am your favorite ex-roommate, who supplies you with contraband goldfish, is it possible to have you corral a catepillar for my son? I have wanted to do that for years and haven't found any.

  3. Can't wait to see which beautiful butterfly they will turn to. Just don't forget to feed them lots of leaves because they sure eat a lot!

  4. As long as it's not spiders, I'm ok.

  5. I hope you get butterflies but am afraid I have no advice. :) Pretty crawlers!

  6. Fun - I remember doing that when I was a child - putting the caterpillars in a jar and watching! Great pictures. that pink one is almost cute :)

  7. I have to bookmark your site...or add to my blogroll. I just love it.

    I've never caught and successfully hatched a wild caterpillar; even as a kid. I'd say lots of leaves and some pieces of fruit?

    Oh, and if he/she is anything like the Very Hungry Caterpillar, don't forget to add one piece of chocolate cake, an ice cream cone, a pickle, a slice of cheese, one slice of salami, etc., etc.

    Very cute. Can't wait to hear the end of the story.

  8. What a neat idea! Good luck with that:-)

  9. I have to remember to bookmark your site, or add you to my blogroll. I love it.

    We've never tried to catch a wild caterpillar and see it through the process. I'm guessing lots of leaves and pieces of fruit?

    Also, if The Hungry Caterpillar is any indication, you'd better add a slice of chocolate cake, one ice cream cone, a slice of cheese, a piece of salami, etc., etc.

    Hope this one has a happy ending. :-)

  10. Love your Honey Mommy name. I'm impressed that you agreed to keep them. I only like the cute furry ones. Good luck with your project.

  11. I raised some caterpillars from eggs last year. For some reason, the eggs were deposited on my lounge mirror, so I carefully took them off and put them into a large jar with a muslin/rubber band lid for air.

    I put a variety of leaves inside, and was able to see which ones they ate when they emerged (cabbage or lettuce can be a good bet if you have no idea. I fed them for a couple of weeks, changing and replenishing the leaves frequently, and putting the new ones in wet in case they needed the moisture.

    When they'd got fat, I put a layer of earth in the bottom, because many species like to burrow to pupate. Sure enough, they all migrated down to the earth within a day of each other and pupated under the soil

    It took months for them to emerge though. You need to keep a close eye on them - daily checks until the temperature dips below freezing, then it's unlikely they'll emerge until spring - but keep checking! I had a couple of surprises!

    By the way, mine turned out to be common cabbage moths, not beautiful butterflies at all! LOL!

  12. those are some fancy caterpillars.

  13. My boys (and girls) love caterpillars too! We ended up with a whole aquarium filled with them this spring until we realized that they were the infamous gypsy moth caterpillars that are such a nuisance to society. I felt guilty letting them go and guilty keeping them.

    Your photos are great!

  14. very cute story and I may have a link for you
    it is on rearing butterflys. Have fun and thanks for seeing my MMpost!

  15. We had a kit once that worked very well. I hope your do-it-yourself does too!

  16. How cute! It will be interesting to see what they become.

  17. Wow that is a fantastic group of photo's and so lucky to find that many in one spot. Wow. Can't what to see the beautifuly butterflies they turn into

    DID you email me back? I see your replied on the winners post but I didn't get the return email.