They have arrived....and are officially creepy. Our painted lady larvae were dropped on our doorstep at 4pm in a tiny box labeled, Open Immediately.
With much anticipation, and little expectation that they would indeed be alive, we ripped open the box and found five tiny caterpillars.
"What's at the bottom Mom, chocolate milk?"
Hmm. not sure, I know it's their food, but am pretty certain it's not chocolate milk. At least I won't be drinking it.
I purposely read the directions out loud so that Nate would get an understanding of the process.
There is an FAQ section at the end of the pamphlet that actually raised more questions than answers.
1. What do I do if my butterflies lay eggs that hatch? Followed by, "They can lay up to 500 eggs."
Umm...WHAT? I didn't sign up for 500 caterpillars. I know we're lucky if the five we have actually stay in the cup for 3 weeks.
2. Why are the chrysalides shaking? Followed by...this is a natural instinct to ward off predators.
Dear Chrysalides, You might want a new strategy for the two predators you're about to meet. Shaking might just attract them.
After reading the FAQ's we needed to find their safe haven. They are a bit high maintenance, no window sills, no direct sunlight, a place where the avg. temp is 70 degrees....but most importantly low enough that my 4 year old can watch them, but high enough that my 2 year old can't eat them. We tested a few locations. I felt like Goldilocks. This spot is too hot, this spot is too cold, this spot is just high enough that Jack can't reach them. Perfect! We found our spot.
And off they go....this might be better than reality T.V. Stay tuned for the next episode where I discuss the process of histolysis...where the caterpillar digests itself from the inside out. I can't wait to explain that one to inquiring minds.