Among the more pleasant creatures who thrive in the current heat and humidity are the butterflies. My daughter’s obsession with them started when she was five, with a little moth.
It then took off in Michigan that summer, where the rustic campground offered plenty opportunity to look for cute little critters in all the unspeakable places.
It takes no time to figure out that the thing to do is to collect the caterpillars, feed them and watch them molt.
The tricky part is to find the right host plants for your caterpillar collection. So we focussed on monarchs and de-leaved all the milkweed plants in the neighborhood.
You put them in a box, and a stick on top of that box instead of a lid when the caterpillars get fat and restless.
If you are lucky, you get several of them lining up on the stick, and then you can see them molting one by one. The act of getting out of the cocoon is pretty dramatic.
When the wings are pumped up, be sure to have the food ready.