For Easter, Jake’s mom gifted us a butterfly raising kit. Basically, you just pay for shipping and the company sends you a jar of caterpillars to raise into butterflies. They send about 5 and guarantee that at least 3 will make it. For the last couple of weeks, we’ve been watching our caterpillars grow and form a chrysalis. This week, they finally “hatched” and became butterflies!!
The first one to “hatch” didn’t really make it. We didn’t do a good job cleaning the silk off from the cocoon and his wings ended up getting stuck and deformed. We learned our lesson and cleaned the silk off the other cocoons. The other 4 “hatched” within a day and they all turned out great!!
It was pretty exciting to see the butterflies! We kept them in the net cage for a couple of days, to admire them, and then released them over the weekend. We put the “unsuccessful” butterfly into our mint pot. He’s gone now– maybe eaten by a spider or bird…
(Jake: trying to save the “unsuccessful” butterfly’s wings)
Jake has always been into moths and butterflies. Every now and then, Jake will talk about ordering a moth growing kit to raise these SUPER LARGE but beautiful moths. Or he’ll get into a phase, watching YouTube videos of other people raising moths and butterflies…especially the ones that are illegal to own in the U.S. Well, this whole butterfly raising experience ignited something in him. Because before Cindy knew it, Jake had spent about $100 on caterpillars to grow into cecropia moth. Apparently, these are one of the largest moths out there. The entire transformation from caterpillar to moth will take about a year. Their wing span can be as large as 5 inches.
After ordering the moths, we had to buy a host tree to either feed the leaves to the caterpillars or let the caterpillars live in. We had a specific and limited selection of trees to choose from. And just like that, we spontaneously found ourselves spending our Sunday afternoon at different nurseries looking for specific trees to house our new pets.
We came home with a cherry tree… and now there is just a cherry tree growing in a pot on the patio of our apartment. Cindy keeps warning Jake that he’d better have a really good green thumb and keep this tree alive because that tree was expensive AF. Cindy does have to admit, though, that it was a pretty fun adventure! It’s definitely never boring with Jake. She’s curious what the moths will look like. And, if Jake can successfully keep the cherry tree alive, we’ll have free cherries to eat!