Yesterday while I was in my garden trying to get my pea plants to wrap around the trelis, a caterpillar fell off the plant and onto the ground. I picked it up and showed Bean. She loved it. Last caterpillar we found she wanted nothing to do with. My intentions were to smush it because there was evidence of quite a bit of damage throughout my garden from his eating habits.
He looked so much like the caterpillar in Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar that I decided not to. As a kid I always seemed to have a makeshift terrarium with some kind of bug in it that I had found while playing out side. This fact scares my husband and he’s always saying, “You aren’t going to turn her into a budding entemologist like you were as a kid are you? Because that means she’ll always be bringing bugs inside the house and I’m going to have to be the one to deal with them, you know.”
Last summer when I watched my nieces for a week while their parents were in Norway I had the pleasure of participating in their caterpillar turned butterfly homeschool study. I got to help the girls let the butterflies go. It was quite fun. We also went to a live butterfly exhibit at the Santa Barbara Natural History museum that summer. I could pay for a little caterpillar/butterfly kit, but why when I have all I need right in my kitchen and little garden?
So I grabbed a mason jar from our pantry, filled it with a little soil, stuck in some leaves from some of our produce in the fridge and introduced the caterpillar to his new home.
Bean is completely facinated and would sit on my lap watching it all day if I let her. We’ve also read the afforementioned book about 500 times since then.
So then last night I dreamed that the caterpillars were taking over. That we had a whole bunch of jars of them because we kept finding them in the garden and I couldn’t bring myself to kill them and disappoint Bean. Stephen was pissed at me because of all the caterpillars in jars. They got out and we kept finding them crawling on everything. This morning I almost threw the whole thing out. Instead, I just gave it some new leaves to eat.
I’ll keep you all updated on the metamorphasis, caterpillar dreams, and Stephen’s level of tolerance. 🙂