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August 12, 2010

Summer o' Science

IMG_5022 Apparently the experiment with the robin's egg was not enough.. Caitlin has decided to tackle another science project, this one a freebie courtesy of FCPS.

IMG_5019 She is currently taking a math refresher course at her new school.  When I picked her up last Friday, she was loaded down with a huge box and something that looked like a pop-up hamper.  She "won" the hamper for good behavior (personally not a big fan of behavior contests, but won't refuse the prize, I guess) and then volunteered to take home 20 jars of caterpillars.

The caterpillars were received by the school, but hadn't actually been ordered.  Not knowing what to do with them, the teachers did the wisest thing possible:  offer to summer campers.  So, we went home and Cait began to rearrange her desk and window seat in order to accommodate her new roomies.

IMG_5021 IMG_5020 There were no directions in the box  and this is where we cheer the advent of the website.  Having never raised butterflies, I had no clue what we should do next.  Luckily, the shipper of the caterpillars, Insect Lore, had easy to find online directions and we were set.  We really had nothing to worry about until the caterpillars had finished their climb to the top of the lids and formed chrysalises.

We (oh, sorry, I) had to carefully transfer the lids (with their easily torn paper linings) to the interior of the hamper through a tiny little entrance.  We even added a few caterpillars who had not yet turned, but were still alive.  One managed to climb to the top of the hamper, attach him (her?) self and begin the chrysalis formation.

The rest of them are still just hanging about the bottom.  According to the web-site, we have about a 7-10 day wait from transfer.  We are checking daily (obviously) but still probably have a good week to go.   When all is said and done, we hope to have quite a few Painted Lady butterflies to release. More on that as they develop...quite literally.

IMG_0248 In completely unrelated matters, Nicholas was utterly adorable at a special dinner tonight and I simply had to post the picture (for Peter, if no one else).  As you can (hopefully) see, he is fabulously talented and able to eat ice cream out of two spoons (one in each hand) at the same time.   Knowing the Little Guy as we do, this came as no surprise...now we must just hope there is some sort of college scholarship for that sort of thing (kidding, of course, Montessori comes first).





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What a great project! Maybe some of the butterflies will still be there, or flying around outside, when I get to VA.

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