Every year, we do a small box garden, and a container garden for some herbs. This year, we planted cilantro (yuck!) and parsley. My daughter likes to pick off the parsley and cilantro and eat them.
The other day, we were outside and she says, “Oh, cool!” and runs over the the parsley. I remember thinking that I’ve never seen her get that excited about eating the parsley before. Instead, she shows me a caterpillar she found on the parsley. We both got excited because she has been “hunting” for a caterpillar for months now.
So, we run and get the bug jar and go inside to find out what kind of caterpillar we have…
Seraching on “what kind of caterpillar do I have” we discover the website Butterfly School which has lots of useful information (but little pictures). We find that the type of caterpillar that likes to eat parsley is a Black Swallowtail. Searching for pictures of the Black Swallowtail caterpillar, we can confirm this is the caterpillar we have.
This fact is also exciting because last year, we ordered a butterfly kit with Painted Lady butterflies, so this year, we will (heopfully) have a different kid of butterfly.
“hmm…”, I say, “it says here not to keep them in a jar with holes, as they won’t get enough air to breath.”
This sends my daughter into a panic, and the caterpillar needs to come out right now! So we dig out the butterfly house we had from last year, place the caterpillar in there and ready more about caring for your caterpillar.
Every morning, I clean out the caterpillar poop (those things are pooping machines!) and twice a day, my daughter picks some fresh parsley, carefully sprinkling it with water to make sure the caterpillar gets enough, and watch and wait.
We hung the caterpillar house near my daughter’s bed, out of the reach of the cats and The Boy. My daughter gets a thrill out of watching it crawl around, eat and, of course, poop. And I have to admit, Ms. Kaz and I get exciting about seeing it eat and crawl around. We never knew caterpillars could be so cute.
“Why is he so cute, daddy?” my daughter asked me one night. My explanation was that once we took it in, cared for it, and made it our own, that just increased how attached we got to it, and how cute we find it.
So now, we await the next step…
Next: The Transformation!