A says that science and math are her favorite subjects in school. She is our little tomboy ballerina, she's a sweet girl but loves to play in the dirt. When she's playing in the backyard she likes to cut up different plants and leaves and put them in a container, she calls it her 'nature salad.' One afternoon she came running in to tell me that Ghad found a caterpillar outside and 'it's green and looks friendly and I don't think it's poisonous, can I touch it!?' So I gave the okay and she was in hog heaven letting it crawl around on her hand and tickle her with all of of its sticky feet.
Later I decided to take the kids for a bike ride to the park she put it in their bug collection jar and rode off with it in her bike basket. When we got back from the park we noticed this silky stuff all over it.
I realized it was probably ready to make a cocoon so I looked it up on the internet to try and determine what kind of caterpillar it was. From what I could guess it looked like a Luna Moth caterpillar and we put in a leaf from our sweet gum tree. By the evening time it had pulled the leaf up around itself and started making it's cocoon.
A few days later the kids found another caterpillar just like the other one so we knew just what to do. We put it in another container with some sweet gum leaves and it made it's cocoon that night.
So we waited and waited. A and G were so excited for them to hatch. While we waited I took A for some girl time on a trip to the Butterfly Rainforest. We saw African Luna Moths there on display and in the cocoon nursery we got to watch a butterfly emerge right in front of our eyes. The internet said that Luna Moths will cocoon for two weeks. After two weeks had passed I was starting to worry that we'd killed them somehow. Three and 1/2 weeks later one night at dinner A yelled out, "Our Luna Moth hatched!!" We all raced over to the porch to see that it had indeed emerged and was drying out his wings.
They were so excited about him coming out of his cocoon. We were excited that our caterpillar searches were correct and that it was indeed a Luna Moth. We watched videos online and found out that our moth was a male, so we were hoping that the second one would be a female and we could see the whole life cycle happening.
So, sure enough, two days later the second moth emerged from the cocoon. This time we noticed it a little bit sooner and so we got to see what it looked like before the wings had dried out.
Midway through the wing dry out...
Fully dried out wings.
Unfortunately the second moth was also a male. So after a few days of watching them on the porch we let them go. We were so thankful that God allowed us to have a science lesson right in our own backyard.