March 30, 2011

{ and the kiss of death }


Our caterpillars have morphed! 4 of our 5 caterpillars spun themselves into their chrystalds last week and we transferred them to their habitat!  We waited and watched and hoped for days while our "runt" caterpillar scrounged around desperately looking for scraps of food the four much larger caterpillars may have left behind. Truth-be-told Hubby and I were not hopeful and both agreed that this would be a life lesson no matter the outcome - and really wasn't this whole project about learning something about the life cycle??

After a few days our little runt climbed up to the paper towel we covered the top of his cup with, hung himself upside-down and we held our breath. within a few hours the poor little guy was a newly formed chrysalis! Way to go little guy! You may have taken a bit longer, but you did it!!

On Sunday the family went out for a morning of shopping and lunch. When we returned I noticed that there were red stains running down the side of the Butterfly habitat. I was thinking "No! No! No! No! How did we miss this???? We can't miss this!!!" Red liquid is expected to be secreted from the newly emerged butterflies immediately following their metamorphosis. These red stains meant our butterflies had emerged.  Thankfully for the girls only two of the four butterflies had made their grand entrance. While watching the two new butterflies stretch and dry their wings, Gigi starting shouting and clapping "Look! Look! One is coming out of it's cocoon now!!" and she was right! The entire family watched in awe as a third butterfly emerged. It was so cool to see!

We now have four butterflies flying around our little habitat and are patiently waiting to see if our last little caterpillar is strong enough to make the change! This has been an amazing and fun project and we are strongly considering ordering more caterpillars and watching a handful more change into butterflies.  We also want to raise tadpoles into Bull-frogs but if we do we need to order them in the next few days as our desert temperatures are rapidly rising and it is bordering on too hot for the little tadpoles to sit on the FedEx truck.

I still highly recommend a project like this one with your kiddos!!  Our neighbor's ladybugs are also staring to change and while I think my girls would love that project too - the changes are not as blatant every day as the caterpillar's.  If you want to see what project options we are considering next go to

{our caterpillars getting ready to turn into chrysalids}

{the four chrysalids}

{the red meconium from the newly emerged butterflies}

{welcome to the world butterfly}

{gtting color into it's wings}

{now onto the ''kiss of death"} the Strawberries might not be making it. They might be...well...dead. It is starting to feel very Summer Science Project all over again. On a brighter note though... Our beefsteak Tomatoes are looking very good. The cherry tomatoes are looking a bit spindly but have blooms all over them. The carrots I am still not very hopeful about but there are tons of sprouts {that I know I need to weed out but...} and the tops are starting to look more and more like carrot tops everyday!   

Here's a snapshot of the current state of our "garden"

{um yeah.... this is the state of our strawberries
- I'm going to blame it on the desert heat!}

{we do have a few strawberry plants still growing with the carrots  though...}

{our first beefsteak tomato starting to grow!}

{the beefsteak tomato plant}

 {our spindly cherry tomato plants}

{they might be spindly but they are flowering}
{a cluster of carrots}

Stay Tuned...

{Project Simplify}

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