knitting by my hands and from my heart
Monday, July 24, 2006
Here's a little of what I've been up to the last few weeks. Raising monarch caterpillars. Ever since I was a young girl, I've loved raising caterpillars to watch them grow into beautiful butterflies (I've done moths, but it's just not the same) to set them free. It's a lot of fun and when the kids get older, I hope they take an interest in it as well. I haven't done this in years and being out on maternity leave has helped me find the time to hunt for caterpillars and I've ordered some online as well. Getting them mailorder is not the same thing as finding them in the wild, however.
I also love the black swallowtail but haven't been able to find them this year. Maybe next year. I'll plant some carrots or parsely which the larvae love.
It hasn't all gone down without a hitch. I originally had seven monarch caterpillars. Four I found and three survived from my mailorder batch. Four succumbed to this and it was panic-time. I wiped the cage down with a Clorox wipe and it has seemed to do the trick. I believe the reason was overcrowding so in the future I will do no more than three per cage.
The three left are doing great and it won't be long now before they're pupae (or chrysallis)--I love the monarch's chrysallis and will post a picture of that when it happens.
Back on July 12th, they looked like this:
Then approximately a week later, this:
They grow incredibly fast, shedding their skin multiple times. After shedding, they then eat their skin--gross, huh?
I'm keeping the caterpillars in this--a find at the Discovery Store, in the mall, years ago:
When the larvae were real tiny a couple of them escaped through the screen. I somehow found the microscopic Houdini's and rescued them. However, I think the escapees were part of the four that perished.
AND the baby blanket! Here it is, still a work-in-progress. I think I'm only going to do ten repeats of the heart pattern instead of the twelve the pattern calls for. Enough already.
link | posted by BerryKnitty at 9:59 PM |
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