Painted ladies! Take me away!

When you lose your job, you find yourself taking on new hobbies and projects. Some of them are productive. Some are fun. And some just satisfy the kid in you.

So, say hello to my painted lady caterpillars!

caterpillar kit.jpg

These cuties will be spending the next three weeks of their lives with me before being released into the flower-filled courtyard of my building, where they will hopefully get busy and help make more flowers during their short, 2-4 week lives.

I thought it would be fun, distracting, and great CV-fodder to take you all along with me. Aren't you lucky?! I'll keep you up-to-date on the caterpillars' progress and try to add some educational tidbits, too. (Shout out to my nephew, Oliver, who loooooves bugs!) I'll do my best to supply my own pictures, but amazing video, such as that posted at the end of this entry, will most certainly be pilfered from you-tube.

Without further ado, let's meet the stars of the show and see what they've been up to in the last week....

Day 1.jpgGeorge day 1.jpg

I call this one George.

Here are the five little guys on DAY 1; the day they began to exist for me. I can imagine it was a rough trip through the US postal service to my doorstep, only then to be leered at by multiple species of large mammals. It took some effort, but I found a feline-free zone where the little guys would only be stressed out by me. (BTW, you can't tell the gender of a caterpillar until it becomes a butterfly. So, I'm sticking with the male pronoun for now. I welcome comments on this choice.)

Let's move on to DAY 4:
Day 4.JPGGeorge day 4.jpg

George again

Growing fast and producing lots of "frass", a fancy way of saying plant-eating insect poop. My husbandry manual says the caterpillars should take 5 to 10 days at a normal room temperature to begin the transition to chrysalis. During this time, I do absolutely nothing. The caterpillar cup comes with plenty of food and the manual says to let them live in their own frass. Gross.

More tomorrow! But I promised to leave you with a little sumpin' sumpin' from you-tube. This is what George has to look forward to:

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