Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Butterflies and caterpillars oh my

Around here, we seem to be on a butterfly and caterpilar rollercoaster. We are constantly finding new caterpillars in the garden that we have to "raise" In fact, as soon as ones go into cocoons, we are bringing in more caterpillars. I think Pooka is on her 4th Generation this summer. 
Everyone takes a nap
Time to move guys
Once the caterpillars are in their cocoons, I gently take out the cocoons (which would be much easier if they would use the darn stick instead of the walls 

New babies
Then we clean out the old/dried herbs and frass (yes thats the term for caterpillar poop). Then the new inhabitants of the bug house are placed in their new home. Generally they are sometimes even collected off the carrots or parsley before the bug house is vacant. Good thing I keep enough jars around.
Look at them growing up

Then the cycle starts over where we feed them daily to make sure they get enough food and are happy. The upside to bringing them inside, I can decide what they eat instead of them eating all of one plant. Pooka says they are getting a more balanced diet.

Someone woke up
Meanwhile the cocoons we removed from the bug house move into Pooka's butterfly house. This house sits in the garage and we give the butterflies time to develop.

Fly free Sushi

Once they are awake and happy, Pooka is allowed to spend an afternoon with them and watching and naming them before we release them back into the yard to do their thing and make more caterpillars for Pooka. The butterflies also help to pollinate the garden.

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