Last week I found a monarch caterpillar on my butterfly weed plant. The kids and I used to love to hatch them, something my Dad used to do with me when I was a kid. Although the excitement has worn off for the kids — for now — I still find it amazing to watch the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a delicate winged creature.
I prepared a habitat for the caterpillar, using a glass vase. First, I added a little dirt to the bottom. This is purely for aesthetic reasons, so that I don’t have to look at caterpillar poop (trust me, they make a lot!). Next, I added a few twigs for the caterpillar to hopefully attach itself to when ready to turn into a chrysalis. Finally, I added the caterpillar and some butterfly weed, covered the vase with plastic wrap, poked a few holes for air, and set it in a quiet place.
It only took a day or two for the caterpillar to change into a beautiful jade green chrysalis, dotted with gold. If all goes well, next week I’ll have butterfly pictures to post!