Caterpillar is the correct spelling for anyone wondering, maybe you all already knew how to spell it? Anyway, meet Mr. Raindrop. He is a lovely little forest tent caterpillar, that Mikey found on the toys outside.
Mr. Raindrop is our second caterpillar, preceded by Baby Caterpillar, who Haley found. Unfortunately Baby caterpillar found his way out of the jar through holes in the lid that were too big. (Haley warned Dad, Dad dismissed warning, drama ensued)
This is really a lot of fun for all of us, especially me, I mean, especially the kids. Mikey has a caterpillar bucket, with a rag and a smaller jar for collecting dirt. He takes the bucket outside every other day and collects new sticks and leaves and dirt. Then we gently remove the caterpillar, wipe out his jar, change the stuff inside and replace him in his new cozy home. For about two days Mr. Raindrop didn't eat much or even move much, I was preparing the kids for his imminent death, I thought for certain we had killed the little guy. Then yesterday we got to watch as he started building this:
YEAH! We didn't kill him, he was just resting up for his big project! This is how eastern tent caterpillars pupate, they build these silky little cocoons and then turn into big ugly brown moths. Haley is still expecting a beautiful butterfly, I keep trying to warn her, I hope she won't be too disappointed...I hope drama does not ensue.
When you find a caterpillar, do a google image search to find out what kind it is, what it eats and how best to take care of it. Eastern tent caterpillars are more of a nuisance than anything, and so most of the information was about how to get rid of them! Fortunately we found a little home school kid's blog all about taking care of them, called "A Bug's Life" he had dozens and dozens of these, making him a subject matter expert in my mind! This has been a very fun, easy project to do with the kids, I highly recommend it.