Saturday, May 12, 2012

In the Buglady's kitchen...

I am quite at home in my new kitchen these days. I still don't have a window treatment, but I have added a little something that makes it a little more me.

in my kitchen
See on the windowsill, the little jar with the leafy stem sticking out? There are 33 butterfly eggs on there.

Mourning cloak butterfly
You see, yesterday, I just happened to be in the right place (my back yard) at the right time to notice a mourning cloak butterfly laying eggs in my Chinese Elm tree. I was also lucky that she laid the eggs where I could reach them, after grabbing the branch and pulling it gently down.

Mourning cloak eggs
Some butterflies lay their eggs one at a time, here and there, spreading them evenly among their larval host plants. The mourning cloak lays a bunch of them all together, and the siblings will spend their larval lives together as they grow. Only when they are ready to pupate will they go their separate ways, as each individual follows its own instinct as to which is the best spot to make a chrysalis.

Last year, in the same tree, I found some mature caterpillars, and they were ready to pupate within a couple of days. I have never reared mourning cloaks from eggs before, so this will be interesting. Kind of like a "prequel" to last year's caterpillars.

Needless to say, in a very few days, I'll need to get that little twig off my windowsill and put it in a proper enclosure. But for now, I'm glad to have this little sprig of life in my kitchen.
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