Kieran was given two Monarch butterfly caterpillars yesterday by one of the city’s park rangers. She gave him a small bottle of water with two leafy stalks of milkweed (their food) and asked him to raise them at home as part of a special pollinator project. We’ve had them 24 hours and they have visibly grown! They have quite an appetite.

We also have two chrysalises from Anise Swallowtail caterpillars Kieran spotted on some fennel last May. We brought them home and they ate and ate and ate, finally forming pupae in a little net cage we kept them in. Each carefully secured itself to the wall using silk threads before pupating.

One of them somehow broke its connections and fell to the bottom of the cage. Worrying that it might not be able to emerge safely this spring, I carefully tied it to my desk lamp with some thread last night. A delicate operation, to be sure!

It should be a butterfly-filled spring for us! Cross your fingers.

One of Kieran's Monarch caterpillars, happily munching milkweed.

One of Kieran’s Monarch caterpillars, happily munching milkweed.

Another Monarch caterpillar.

Another Monarch caterpillar.

Kieran spotted two fat Anise Swallowtail caterpillars on his way home from school in May.

Kieran spotted two fat Anise Swallowtail caterpillars on his way home from school in May.

I tied the tumbled chrysalis to my desktop lamp.

I tied the tumbled chrysalis to my desktop lamp.

It was very difficult to knot the thread holding the chrysalis in place.

It was very difficult to knot the thread holding the chrysalis in place.

A close up of the chrysalis tied to my lamp.

A close up of the chrysalis tied to my lamp.

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