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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The coolest thing!

Maybe not to you, but it was to me.

So if you don't know, if maybe you've been living under a rock or just haven't been reading my blog, :)  we've been raising monarch caterpillars this summer.  So far we've released 11 butterflies, we've got 12 in chrysalis, and 12 more caterpillars (I think).  If you'd like to read about the process and see some really cool pics, go here.  And if you'd like to see pics of the butterflies we've released, check out my other blog.

I told Keira a couple weeks ago that I wanted to watch one of our monarch caterpillars shed its skin and form its chrysalis.  I usually noticed them in their J form and next thing I knew, they were in their chrysalis.  Although I did get to watch one forming its chrysalis a while back, but it had already shed its skin.

Well, today when we got home from the gym, Keira was cleaning the containers out and giving them fresh leaves.  She had to be extra careful in the one container because 2 caterpillars were hanging in their J form.  She noticed that one of them had a "green helmet" and told me to come see, which I did.  We had to sit there for about 45 minutes, but I finally got to see the process!  Which really only took a minute or two.  But we had to wait for him to be ready, I guess.

And, of course, I photographed the whole thing.  And made a collage in Picasa.

I'm bummed that you can't see the "green helmet" in the first pic, but if I crop in anymore, it gets really blurry.  So you'll have to just trust me that it is there.  And I know that a couple pics are a little blurry.  I had to use manual focus and I guess my eyes weren't quite focusing.  :)

Notice the antennae moving up the body while the skin comes off.  This isn't the entire process, just the shedding of skin and the beginning of forming the chrysalis.  I couldn't sit there all day waiting.  Things to do, ya know.  :)

Okay, so maybe I'm weird that I'm so fascinated by this whole process.  But it just amazes me how God created a creature so interesting.  And how it can go from an egg to a little tiny caterpillar, get big and juicy :), do the above to form a chrysalis, and become such a beautiful butterfly that knows to fly to a certain tree in Mexico every year.  And back the next spring!  To the place it was hatched.

I mean, don't you find that amazing?


raineality said...

Yes! That is why I think the people who believe that we all just came from a couple random chemicals are nuts! I just don't see how a cosmic chemistry project could create something so complicated.

Melissa said...


Laura said...

It IS amazing!!! I want caterpillars!

Jenna said...

Wow that is amazing!! No you are not weird from thinking that is cool...I am so intrigued by this process! So ok..I'm going to go research this little creature somemore..I'm so interested in him!! ha