"Guacamole" joined us this past weekend (in the middle of the hubbub of all the hatching) when Eric found him munching on our carrot greens in the garden. I think Lexi must always have food on her mind when naming animals. Anyway, I offered to feed the caterpillar to the chickens, but ever on the search for an educational moment, Eric said we would be making a habitat for it inside. Once I realized it was a Black Swallowtail Butterfly caterpillar, I willingly obliged.
During the span of three days, guacamole ate and ate and ate. And just like Eric Carl's Very Hungry Caterpillar, this guy was FAT.
Last night, I noticed he had assumed an interesting position (pre-pupa stage) on one of the plant stalks, with one tiny silk thread attaching his heavy body to the stalk on either side. Still convinced he was going to literally spin his own cocoon, I figured we had plenty of time to document it later.
WRONG. Shows you how much I know about the life cycles of butterflies.
This morning, we found this. Guacamole, over night, had entered into early pupa stage. He must have preferred his privacy.
I have had several people ask me if Lexi is simply enthralled with all of this - the chickens, ducklings, caterpillar, etc. To be quite honest, she definitely enjoys all of it, but it's not really a novelty for her like it is for me. To her, this is normal. It's just how life goes around here. I really love that her normal is so different from the normal of many kids living in the city, including the normal of my own childhood. My hope is that she would never take the natural world for granted, always taking the time to care about and revel in the small miracles that happen every day, all around us.