Monday, June 19
the caterpillars are much bigger now and all except one (the one on the leaf) have attached themselves to the top of the container and are just resting there.
In the picture, I've taken the top off and laid it upside down on the table to get a better shot, but with the top on, they're the ones that are laying attached and upside down.
I remember from the Monarch I had a long time ago that the next thing they will do is to start hanging precariously head down and begin to make their cocoons.

Maya and I are still reading "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" every day (many times!),
she calls them the "hungy-hungy bugga-buggas" (close enough, kid) and touches them lightly with "just one finger"

We painted a big paper leaf today and glued the caterpillars that we colored with markers onto it, then we used the paper punch to make holes where the "hungy buggas" ate.
Tuesday, June 20 - early this morning the same three caterpillars were still lying upside down stuck by their feet to the top of the cage-
they're all through being hungry and are waiting for what will come next.
(the fourth one is still munching on milkweed leaves underneath his friends)
This afternoon it started!
One by one the caterpillars began letting go and started to uncurl and hang by just one end from their ceiling.

I keep warning everyone to tread lightly in the kitchen,
don't shake the cage- they seem so delicately attached-
but then I remember the milkweed at the duckpond where the other caterpillars (the ones who eluded our capture) are hanging.
They'll be there through wind and rain and ducks brushing by and still become butterflies in spite of the "danger",
so I guess Mother Earth knows how to fashion her creatures.

(but I still don't think we should stomp through the kitchen...
just in case....)
Wednesday, June 21- the day of the Summer Solstice and the caterpillars have entered the chrysalis stage, spinning delicate, shimmering, almost transluscent green wombs around their bodies and now hanging silently waiting to emerge.
Beautiful and awe inspiring-
we are blessed and grateful.
and...
later on in the afternoon, Grampy found a toad in the garden shed!
He brought him inside on an upside down trash barrel lid (Grampy doesn't like to touch toads, I guess, so that makes us appreciate it even more when he takes the time to bring one inside for us to see!)
We put him in our bug watching box and looked at him for a long time. He looks a lot like our favorite toy frog.
We showed him to Mommy when she got home and looked at him for another long time.
Then we let him go back to the garden where he lives.
Our next project will be a Toad House!
Monday, June 26 - the caterpillars are still waiting and so are we...
we can see their wings folded tight against the sides of their cocoons when we shine a flashlight into the container.
I don't think any of us will have to wait much longer.

Yesterday Miss Maya and her mommy went to the
Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory
and well, maybe butterflies aren't so good after all.
Maybe they're kind of scary when they're flying all around you with so many different colors and sizes and so many people inside the conservatory looking at them...
maybe that's not so good....

But today is another day and we worked on another project,
this time coloring coffee filters with felt tip markers and then painting them with water to make all the colors run together.
We have them hanging over the sink to dry now, and when they're dry we'll scrunch them in the middle to make wings and clip on a green plastic clothespin for the body.
We're making butterflies and today butterflies seems like a good idea again.
Thursday, June 29 The day we've been waiting for! And just like the Monarch I had years ago, it was deep in the night when the chrysalis opened and Our Lady emerged. Please click here to share what we saw....>>>