Thursday, October 22, 2009

Caterpillar, Cocoon, Moth and my Bug Jar

About a week ago, Aaron found a small, green caterpillar on one of the chairs in our living room. He actually looked more like a worm. He wasn't fuzzy. We scooped him up and put him in my bug jar to observe him. We gave him a few leaves, a couple drops of water and left him overnight.
The next morning he was gone.
Looking closer, we saw something on the back of one of the leaves. A fine, white, web, like strings of cotton clung to the back of the leaf.
"He's making a cocoon!" James shouted.

Today, like every other day, we checked on him again. We couldn't tell--is he still in there, did he die, what's become of our little green friend?

"Mommy! Mommy! MOMMY!"
I run.
"It's out! There's a moth in there. He came out of his cocoon. We hatched another moth, Mommy!" This is a great moment.
We opened the lid and set him free.
Off he flew. We followed him until he left our yard.

Then we studied his cocoon. Both times we have "hatched" a moth, their cocoons have surprised us. Our first one buried himself in the dirt we placed at the bottom of the bug house. We expected him to use the sticks we put in there for him, and when we didn't see him, we could not figure out where he went. But then we saw the sticky, brown lump in the dirt.
Now this one made web of sorts.

Science for tomorrow: what kind of caterpillar was that? Why does he build his cocoon like that? What is the name of the moth he turned into?

Science is so much fun when you are living it.

A note on this bug jar. It's mine. I made it in 2nd grade. At VBS at First Baptist Church in Fallbrook, the town where I grew up. I have saved it all these years. I don't know why really. I l loved it when I was a kid. I was proud of it. I liked its red top and the paintings I did on it.

Now the boys love it. They are careful with it because they know it is old. It has held their ladybugs, a bee, some grasshoppers, but this is its first time to house a caterpillar, cocoon and a moth.
I'm glad they use it. It is a tiny piece of my childhood that is now part of theirs. All these small things add up into something bigger.
Sharing childhood with my children is so very sweet.

Also sweet: we will be gone for the next couple of days. On Friday, my Dad is taking the boys on their first train ride. They are beyond excited. When they get off the train in San Diego they will also ride the trolley and the bus. Could it get any better? If it can, I am sure their Dziadzi will figure out a way to make it happen.
So I'll be back on Monday with stories from the train ride and maybe a few pics from our first Halloween party this weekend.
See you then!

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