Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Monarch caterpillars!

This morning we went for a walk to the pond, and down the pathway into the bushes to find a great spot to hide our treasure.

This is the pond just over by the mail boxes, and we took the path that some of the students take when walking to school.  We hid the treasure about an arms length into the bushes, so we didn't venture into them as we discovered this is prime territory for monarch caterpillars and we certainly don't want to endanger any of them.

We were so lucky!  When we reached our arm into the brushes to clean just enough room to drop our treasure down, we found 4 caterpillars!  Now we know where they go when it's raining out!

3 of them were tucked end to end on a milk thrush plant, which is commonly where the butterflies lay their eggs.  We took one of the dormant stems that a caterpillar was on and showed the children a caterpillar up close, and then very carefully put it back right where we found it.

If you look on the bottom of the left stem, you will see a couple of caterpillars!

This patch of bushes below is where we have hidden our treasure, and the container is covered in camouflage duct tape.  Can you see it?

It's pretty good stuff - realistic leaf pattern camouflage.  I can barely make it out in the photo.

Here (see below) is a photo of 3 caterpillars all in a row!

Cheese!  At this point, we can start to feel a little mist of rain coming down, so it's time to turn back towards Jennie's place.