Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Eads Explorers!

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!!
Plant Butterfly Gardens

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 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.
I'm pretty sure the frog eggs won't hatch. I'm not sure why the frog put the eggs on the window. Josh suggested that maybe some frogs lay their eggs out of the water. I'm wondering if it was a confused frog? Tuesday morning, they looked very dry but were still stuck to the side. They fell off later in the day and sunk to the bottom of the tank. Not much has happened since then.

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? 



  1. It looks like you guys are having great fun this summer! I'd love to get together sometime! Hopefully we'll see you at 4H too!

    Since you're not on Facebook anymore, you can check out our blog ... ... to see what's been going on with us! I love checking yours out! Looks like you've had some fun!

  2. Oh, and the club seems pretty cool! You should take it global!