5.12.2010

CATERPILLARS IN A CUP

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I ordered them from the Internet. For the children, of course. The aforementioned children were convinced they could tell each caterpillar apart. Apparently, the insects' unique personalities made this possible.
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Meet Frankie, Bob, Steve, Germaine Jacoba, and Frankie Joe George Cheese Bob III. At least that's what I've been overhearing these past few weeks. (How do they even come up with this stuff?)
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They crawled around their cup, eating, pooping, and building a disgusting mass of webs...until one by one, they hung head first from the lid like gymnasts. A week later, all five chrysalids hung in a happy row...butterflies baking within.
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At this point, I opened the cup, untangled the chrysalides from their webs, and pinned the lid inside this netted butterfly atrium. I didn't even gag!
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The darker they get, the closer they are to being baked through. By the time they emerged, each chrysalis was almost black.

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Even when we had a student on watch at all times, we missed every single emergence. It happens fast! But we were sure pleased to have all five turn into beautiful, delicate painted lady butterflies.
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They drink with their long, curly tongues from sugar water sprinkled on flowers or from fresh-cut orange slices.
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Our next step, is to set them free to their natural habitat. That is, if the weather will cooperate. It has to be above 55 degrees.
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Pretty, yes?
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On another spring topic, look at my tulips! We're starting to see some color!!
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Soon to follow will be my allium...or purple-poof-ball-Dr.-Suess-flowers...as I like to call them. Uncle Doug, I was glad to know what they're really called...but I still like my name better. No offense.
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1 comment:

Soren and Sandy said...

We did that when I was a kid in school! I loved it!! We each had our own butterfly!

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