Our Butterfly Project – Post #2

So at last count, last update here I had three huge mongo Black Swallowtail (BST) caterpillars, and three tiny bebe caterpillars. I also had one Luna Moth cocoon. Things have changed.

Last Wednesday, we had mom’s night at my friend Kelly’s house. Besides having a blast with my crew, l left with four monarch caterpillars and one tiny BST caterpillar. Kelly has been rearing butterflies and caterpillars for years, but she is getting her kitchen entirely remodeled and couldn’t take these littles in right now. So I took them home!

This is what they looked like last Wednesday when I brought them home.

This is how they look today, a week later.

They are getting so big! I will be running around getting milkweed to feed them multiple times a day soon, as they will start munching through the leaves faster and faster. Then they will go into chrysalis! Monarchs have a beautiful chrysalis so I am excited to see them.

As for the black swallowtails, we have all but one in chrysalis! Their process is a bit different. They find a spot, and it happens slowly, where a monarch is sort of quicker and more explosive. I took pictures at four intervals of one of the BST’s going into chrysalis, and it is pretty neat. They pick a spot, glom on, make a silk string sling, and then sort of turn into the chrysalis slowly. I am not sure of the science behind it but it is crazy to watch.

As for our Luna Moth cocoon – it hatched! They only live a few days, and have no mouths. They only live long enough to reproduce and that is it.

We kept it in the enclosure for a day or two then released it on the night of the full Strawberry moon – it just felt appropriate for a Luna Moth. It was also International Fairy Day, and I was thinking – if it were hundreds of years ago, before scientific understanding of creatures, and I saw one of these moths, I could see myself thinking I was maybe seeing a fairy. A little fanciful, but can you see it too?

So as of today, we have four hungry monarch caterpillars, five BST in chrysalis, and one BST baby that is growing! I am hoping that by next Wednesday’s update I will have a few more chrysalis hanging around!

If you missed the first post, you can find it here!

Currently….

It’s that time again! I’m joining up with Anne in Residence for her monthly Currently..post. This month we are talking about what we are celebrating, collecting, gifting, thinking, and trying!

Celebrating: This one is easy! We are celebrating the addition of our newest family member, born last Friday! My cousin and his wife had their third son on the 28th, named Francis (Frankie) Elias. Frankie is named for our grandfather, and I absolutely love it. He is so darn cute and I can’t wait to meet him! Mom and baby are doing great.

Collecting: Ideas and art for our bedroom refresh that we are starting this month. We loved how the office turned out so much that now we are eyeing other rooms. Our bedroom has not been repainted since we moved in twenty years ago!! It is high time to rectify that. Not only have our tastes changed it’s just been too long. I can’t wait! I already have a few pieces picked out that I want to get but I won’t let myself pull the trigger until we actually start. It will be my reward. This is one that I have in mind. If you follow me here regularly, you will know that I love all things nature and I dig this artist. I bought her fox print for the office, and I kind of like the idea of carrying that idea into another room.

(art by FainaLorah Luna Moth Art Print)

Gifting: Not too much right now? I do have my eyes open for Father’s Day gifts and ideas!

Thinking: About summer and what we want to accomplish – or not accomplish. We want to finish up the bedroom and then sort of spend the rest of the summer without projects except being together, exploring nature, having fires and drinks with family, going on picnics and visiting some of our favorite places. We want a relaxed summer, one that ends with everyday feeling that good kind of tired.

Trying: To encourage butterflies to our yard! Specifically, monarchs. The past few years my friends have all “raised” monarchs to give them more of a fighting chance at survival. This summer, I think Wyatt and I will be joining in. I planted milkweed and all sorts of different plants to entice butterflies, so hopefully we will see some monarch caterpillars hanging out in the garden soon. I am going to have my mom do it too, I think she will like it!

And that is it for this month! Check back next month where we will be discussing what we are currently eatingfeelinggoingordering, and realizing.