Saturday, June 02, 2007

More Nature Notes

It couldn't have been more than an hour after I posted pictures of our caterpillars this morning when Darren, who had been working out in the vegetable garden, came in to tell us that he had just seen several different varieties of butterflies fluttering about, darker than the little white ones who are frequent visitors to our backyard. "Really?!" I squealed. (Um, yeah. I'm pretty sure I squealed.) I dashed out to go investigate, but...nothing. I didn't see any butterflies, nor did I find any new caterpillars. Dejected, I came back inside, but a little while later we all went outside to play and it was then that we discovered the tiniest new caterpillars establishing themselves quite comfortably on our Parsley! I am just beyond thrilled. Black Swallowtail caterpillars! In our garden!

Another exciting observation we made today was that of this beautiful butterfly, which Darren found hiding on the leaf of a sunflower. After doing a bit of research, I think I've finally identified it as a Bordered Patch butterfly. We're hoping that we just might find some eggs when we check again tomorrow!

And finally, to add just one more last bit of excitement to our day, Darren called me out late this afternoon to his cactus garden, where he had been removing and relocating several plants. There, on our Spanish Broom, were the most fascinating caterpillars I think I've ever seen. These, too, required a bit of investigating, because neither of us had any idea what they were. The answer: Genista caterpillars. Aren't they amazing?


Mom to Four said...

I am so glad I am not the only one who squeals when I see bugs, etc. these days. I never would have expected it of me years ago. Now I scream to hurry and get the bug catcher to catch slugs, ladybugs, caterpillars, etc.

I had a homeschooling idea. Make it a project with Dylan to report on your nature finds on your blog. Involve him in the research and reporting, etc.

Have a happy caterpillar day!

Crafty Mom said...

How awesome!! You must live in the best place on earth to have such wondrous nature all around you. The caterpillars are absolutely fascinating and the butterfly is gorgeous. To go along with Celeste, you can go to the library, we found tons of books that were appropriate for Katie who is Dylan's age on caterpillars and butterflies. Make sure you read the Magic School Bus one. We went to the conservatory in Cincinnati to see the butterflies this weekend. They gave us a packet with all kinds of buttefly projects, coloring sheets, worksheets and facts. Use a Peterson Guide to look things up then copy or have Dylan draw (since he has the art skills of a future master) your finds and label in a nature journal. You can make clothespin butterflies with tissue paper, pipe cleaners and a pinching clothespin. Fun! FUN! FUN! All these things will make perfect science, reading, art lessons for a homeschooling unit. You will be great at this, and Dylan is going to be one of the luckiest boys ever.

I know this is a long comment, but it comes from someone who has had considerable doubts about homeschooling next year, but I plan to pursue things day by day year by year!!

Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle said...

What incredible photos! I love nature too! I thought you might want to know about the launch of my "Mom's Corner" radio show with Teresa Tomeo. The details are in this link:

God bless,

B-Mama said...

Hello Melissa,
I've been greatly enjoying your blog entries and photos as I am a lover of Biology and all things God-created and living! Your pics are so clear... May I ask what kind of camera you use? We are in the market for a new one and I'd love to get my hands on one with such photo quality. Thanks and God bless, Bethany

Jen said...

Cool! My oldest would LOVE that butterfly. I'm gonna show her your post tomorrow. I tagged you for meme as well.. hope that was okay!

Ladybug Mommy Maria said...


Thosep ictures are AWESOME!