Caterpillar Poop

Caterpillar Poop

Originally uploaded by kjda

It’s not a new cuss phrase. It’s what we do around here in playdates.
These are our caterpillars. We found them last Friday. They were all
the size of that tiny one. We put them in jars, because that is what
you do here in late fall; if no one in your family is not in some way
involved with the life cycle of the Monarch, then you are not having a
full Upper Valley experience.

So we put them in the jars, and they hid in the leaves, until
yesterday, when I picked up a jar, saw that monstrous one looking out
at me and screamed.

Today they were due some new leaves, so we took them out of the jars
and lined them up on the counter, watching them for any sudden moves,
and shook out the enormous amount of poop that had collected. I mean,
I guess that makes sense, but I have to say I had never, ever, once in
my whole life given a single thought to caterpillar poop.

Lily and her friend had the job of watching the largest caterpillar,
and they watched it intently. We can’t tell which end is the eyes!
Liky said, and then–it pooped!

So now we know which end has the eyes. Probably the other one.

We found the caterpillars when they were tiny–ant size–on milkweed, which grows plentifully around here, and tucked them into a couple of large jars we had sitting around with cheesecloth over the top. One of the four died, one is a crysalis now, and two are still diligently eating. I am told that once they hatch, we let them dry off, take them outside, and off they will go, to spend the winter somewhere much warmer than this.

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