About two weeks ago we went on a nature walk and we found two beautiful caterpillars (after some research I found out that they were monarch caterpillars). Luckily we brought along a bug catcher (we are a little obsessed with catching bugs these days). We all followed along very closely during the whole transformation process and we are in awe. The pictures aren't that great because I took them through the case, but you will get the idea.
Here are the two caterpillars when we got them home. They ate milk weed leaves like no tomorrow and we actually had to go out and get more leaves from the nature trail (I wanted to get leaves from the exact plant where we found the caterpillars so I knew that they would be good for them).
After about two days the caterpillars hung from the top of the cage and then the next day they spun into their cocoons. Before one was in its cocoon, we accidentally bumped the cage and it fell to the bottom. We were all very sad and thought we killed it, but actually, while we were looking at it, Mariah and I got to see it spin into its cocoon right then! It was amazing. In the picture you can see both cocoons, one hanging from the top and one laying on the bottom. (All those little black things are TONS of caterpillar poop).
Last night, we were able to see the outline of the wings through the cocoon and then actually see orange and black. The cocoon turned black and I knew it was only a matter of hours before the butterfly would come out.
Today, the first butterfly came out of its cocoon. We didn't actually see it happen, but the butterfly is absolutely beautiful! Here is a picture right before we let the butterfly go into the wild blue yonder.
6 days ago