Friday, August 11, 2017
After a few hours, the little caterpillar was spotted a whole room away climbing on the tile at the back of a counter by the kitchen table. Maybe he smelled the dill on the table and was headed for breakfast! We put him in a large glass vase with more dill where he was soon joined with a number of similar caterpillars. We watched as the first caterpillar ate and grew fat.
This made for many conversations about what Nora began calling her paterkillars. The clear container allowed all of us to watch the progress and anticipate changes that would come. We added some sticks so there was a spot for shedding skin, spinning a tiny thread out to hold a chrysalid. We watched as the chrysalis changed color and were all cheering when "our" butterfly emerged, hanging limply and slowly moving the beautiful wings to strengthen and dry. When it was time to release the butterfly, Nora and her mom took the jar outside and Nora's butterfly friend sat on her arm gently for a few seconds before flitting away to the flowers in our garden.
So far, this process has been repeated 8 times! Our swallowtail population is increasing! Joe and I enjoyed doing this with Nora's dad and his brothers, and love doing it again. The butterflies are beautiful, but the most beautiful of all is Nora's excitement and wonder!