Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Home Spun comic strip #719

Home Spun comic strip #719

We always heard such wonderful stories about raising caterpillars. My own reviews of the experience are mixed. The first time I tried it, before Sierra was born, all of the caterpillars reached cocoon stage. I was so proud I tried to pick up the flimsy cardboard box to show grandma. I did not know that Marina had put several large rocks at the bottom. The box collapsed in my hands and several of the cocoons were crushed. Only two butterflies emerged. One had a crumpled wing and would never fly. We released the other.

Our second attempt went somewhat better. The only problem was that one caterpillar was much faster than the others. It formed a chrysalis while the others were still fattening up. By the time the last caterpillar decided to make its way to the top of the cup, the first had started to emerge in those cramped quarters. We found out too late. It lay on the bottom of the cup of caterpillar food on its back, unable to maneuver and dry its wings properly. The others four emerged properly in our new pop-up butterfly habitat. No more cardboard for me.

The last time we did it, it was because Sierra was old enough to beg me to do it. Things worked out much better. Mainly because I stepped back and let the kids handle things. My only contribution was to hang the butterfly habitat over the lights to keep the caterpillar cup out of reach of our curious cats. After so many attempts, we were finally able to release all of our butterflies. I admit, it is a nice feeling. And maybe we appreciate it more because of all the failed attempts before it.


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Sravani said...

Oh, how lovely! It reminds me of our own experiences of raising silkworms years ago. I was so inexperienced and muddled my way through in making it work. I am glad that you were able to enjoy releasing the butterflies. Did you guys take any pictures? I miss those days!
Now we are raising two birds--budgies!
Well, we had four, two in each cage; but just last week one of the cages got knocked down in our patio and the birds flew away:(( The sad thing is that they may have been caught by the kites that fly around my neighborhood..And now we are left with two.

Stephanie said...

I have great memories of raising caterpillars and moths with my kids. We never had any luck with tadpoles though.

Paula Vince said...

I imagine it would have given you all such a great feeling to release them and watch them fly away :)

Inner Elder said...

I love this series on caterpillars and remembering all your attempts. You are wise to recognize the wonderful learning opportunities from failure. And the detail on your strips just keeps getting better and better. Just like your butterfly raising experience.

Love, Mom PS Hope you are all feeling better!

Jenny said...

Wow! That sounds like a lot of work. I know a few homeschool families that tried silk worms with relative success. We never did that though. However, I do remember getting a chance to observe caterpillars, cocoons, and butterflies numerous times with my siblings and other children in our yards.

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