Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Dill Discovery!

We were at a local nursery picking up some vegetable plants for our garden.  I happened to spot a dill plant with a gorgeous caterpillar munching away on the dill leaves.  Upon closer inspection, there were THREE caterpillars munching happily away.  So what is any homeschool mom worth her weight in salt to do?  Purchase the dill plant of course!
I was actually given the plant for free since this is now a budding science lesson.  My girls have raised caterpillars in preschool, but there is something different about discovering them on your own, welcoming them into your home, providing them with a nutritional source they clearly love and hoping they spin a chrysalis.
day 1

day 1


After a rudimentary google search, it seems the Eastern Swallowtail caterpillar enjoys dill.  I think that is what our friends may be.  I clearly underestimated their gorging capacity and after just 24 hours, several stalks of the dill plant have disappeared.  I guess that means another trip to the nursery...
day 2

  
photo courtesy of above website

By the way...Lilah just informed me that the little black caterpillar also munching away looks like bird poop.  I thought she made that up until I looked at the above site and found out that they do in fact mimic bird droppings!  When I looked at her in awe, she said “What Mom???  (with great attitude), I read.” Amazing. Simply amazing.

8 comments:

  1. This is great! You're right, what else were you to do but get that dill plant? ;)

    We put up a post over the weekend about an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly that we had visiting us:
    http://thegettys.blogspot.com/2011/06/nature-study-eastern-tiger-swallowtail.html

    I love Lilah's comment!

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  2. LOL! Yes that would be the response of my 9YO girl!

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  3. Well, I am inspired!

    I would probably have seen the caterpillars as a deterrent. I guess I need to de-school myself some more, because I do see where that could make a great science experiment.

    How long is it supposed to take for the little guys to spin their chrysalis?

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  4. Your caterpillars are awesome! Can't wait to see them transform. :)

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  5. I can't wait to hear more about this! We raise Monarchs here...... They lay their eggs on milkweed plants :). I posted for months on butterfly activities last year!

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  6. I am going to keep posting pictures on Facebook...my Teachable Moments Page!

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  7. Wow! They grow fast don't they? I am sitting here having a giggle at the thought of bringing them home though! I dread it when they get into my herbs!

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  8. Amazing! :) I would have done the same thing! What a smart little girl you have there.

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