On Friday, James, JoyAnna and I watched a female Black Swallowtail butterfly lay her eggs on our parsley. She carefully flew all around my herb garden looking for just the right plants. Rosemary, Oregano, Basil, Chives, Mint, Aloe, Tarragon, Thyme, and one scrawny little Parsley plant. Yup...the scrawny parsley was the one she chose. That's because Black Swallowtail butterfly larvae only eat parsley, dill, fennel or rue.
I asked Josh on Saturday if he would go to Lowe's and help me pick out the things we would need to build a butterfly habitat. One large enough to plant 3 or 4 herbs in it with a screen enclosure. And that led him to have this revelation:
"James. You and me. We're gonna start a club!"
"We'll call ourselves, 'Eads Explorers'!"
We'll have a cool sign like this:
Caw Caw!! ROAR!!!
We're going to do neat things like:
Build Bat Houses
|You know you want one!!|
Raise Praying Manti
Build a Mason Bee House
Learn to Identify and Capture the Elusive Snipe
Get a Glow in the Dark Ant Colony
Learn Wilderness Survival Skills
Take Camping Trips Outside of our Backyard!!
...and that's just to name a FEW!
On Monday morning, after a what seemed like a 48 hour monsoon, I opened the blinds to find a blob of frog eggs on the window behind our pond.
We went out after breakfast to scoop them off the window and put them inside Fishy James' old plastic tank.
Then I dig up the parsley and potted it so I could place it inside the butterfly enclosure. That's when I noticed that they had hatched already!! Teeny tiny little things.
We counted more than 10 eggs on the parsley plant, so when they start getting bigger I am going to have to find something bigger for them to live in. I've been trolling Craigslist trying to find an old fish tank to turn into a butterfly habitat. That way, when the butterflies are grown and released, we can catch other critters to keep in there for awhile. You know...like bass, or frogs or wolf spiders. Whatever it is that the kids like to bring home.
|Can you see the tiny little one between my thumb and forefinger? That was how small they were the day they hatched.|
The caterpillars today are much bigger than when they first hatched. They're so cute! And they are devouring this parsley. Josh bought another parsley plant and a dill plant home for them when they finish the first one. I wish they'd eat the stems. It seems so wasteful to only eat the leaves, no?
|Can you see the caterpillar on my finger? Much bigger in just 2 days!|
We'll keep posting their progress as they grow. It's such a special thing to have had the privilege of being able to watch them grow right from the mother laying the eggs on the plant, and hopefully, through to metamorphosis!
Oh! And don't forget...every club has to have their own theme song!!
This will be ours:
Would you like to be an Eads Explorer?
CAW CAW!! ROAR!!!