Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Preparing for a 60 mile bicycle ride and first caterpillars...August/September 2016

...so now we have the lumber but DH is not feeling well. So therefore the beautiful cedar lumber for the raised flowerbed sits. No worries. I'm out most days riding my bicycle. Preparing for an event called Square 2 Square. A few of us did it in the Spring time. So fun. The bike ride is 30 miles, on the Razorback Greenway Trail. Started in Fayetteville AR and ended in Bentonville AR. Full day event. But this time I challenged myself and did Sq. 2 Sq. 2 Sq. Started this time in Bentonville, rode to Fayetteville and back again. Total was a 70 mile ride. Took me all day! I Even surpassed my own challenge by 10 miles! I DID IT!

 In the meantime I was raising my first Monarch caterpillars. September 5, 2016 was the first time I discovered stage one instar. This little guy is less the 1/8 inches in length. The pic is magnified 4 times! I thought I was seeing eggs, but not sure. They are tiny white dots about the size of a pencil point.
OHHH no!! I am NOT ready. So I set out to order butterfly cages online but for now it was recommend I go to Wal-Mart and get a pop up mesh laundry basket. Perfect! I will need this a bit later. I also collected eggs to attempt to hatch indoors. 

Finding more caterpillars each day. Here you see the blue lid container which is home to eggs. The egg remains on the leaf I found it on, cut around the egg then placed on top of a fresh CLEAN and WASHED leaf. That is placed on a moist paper towel and placed in the blue lid container. Opening daily to make sure its still moist gives enough oxygen for the eggs, which should hatch in about 4 days. The 18 count egg container and red lid container is holding floral tubes (bought from a local Nursery and Floral shop) filled with water and milkweed(s) leaves  Caterpillars are on them. A napkin is placed to catch the poop (frass) and boy do they poop and eat and eat and eat!
        Is this not the cutest thing ever....said the butterfly crazy lady!  *smile*



Margarets designer cards said...

I have heard of these butterflies, but never heard of anyone hatching the eggs and looking after the caterpillars
I look forward to seeing more of them and how many you end up with

Nancy G said...

Here in the states Margaret, we are loosing Monarchs at an alarming rate. Heartbreaking. In effects to 'help' a lot of us are trying to help when and where ever possible. I am only doing a small part, one butterfly at a time to see that they migrate to Mexico.