Monday, July 2, 2012

Hatching Monarch Butterflies at Home: Day 1

Justice became fascinated with butterflies this spring. He’d been asking for a butterfly keeper so that he could catch butterflies and observe them. During one of our trips to the zoo earlier this year each of the kids got to pick out a momento from the gift shop and that’s when Justice got his butterfly cage.

Well, it just so happens that our friend and neighbor likes to hatch monarch butterflies at her home. She and her kids have enjoyed the wonder of watching the process through a pickle jar each summer for over 10 years now. She told us to come on over anytime and we could grab our first baby caterpillar off some of their milkweed and observe the life cycle ourselves. So this morning we did!

I can’t believe how tiny it was! Angie informed Justice of all the tips and tricks – the main one being to give the baby a fresh milkweed leaf each day (you can see the milkweed plant behind them in the picture). We actually found a bunch of milkweed right across the street from our house in an empty lot, so we won’t have to go too far! She said the baby caterpillar will eat and then double in size almost daily! We already got to see him munch a little perfect-sized hole right through the leaf this morning – just like the famous book. :)

If you want to do this at home along with us, you can find Angie’s hatching instructions and steps on her blog by clicking HERE.  Happy hatching!

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