Sunday, August 9, 2009

Afternoon walk.

This afternoon, the kids and i took a walk down the road to pick up trash and recyclables, scope out the wild blackberries and look for monarch caterpillars on the milkweed patch at the bottom of the hill. So we set out, equipped with trash bag and gloves, bug house and berry basket.

Sequoia wanted a bandanna to hold his hair back, and so of course Sage needed one too. :)
It's is only about 1/2 mile to the bottom of the hill, but we picked up enough trash and soda/beer cans to fill our garbage bag. We could have easily filled a second, had i brought one.

The kids are both very enthusiast about picking up litter. We've been doing this since they were tiny. Sage liked to spot and then yell each time she found something, and then Sequoia would collect it.

We found a few blackberry along the way, though not many. The kids had stopped and eaten them all before we made it home. :)
We checked all the milkweed on our way down, and didn't see any caterpillars. When checked the large milkweed patch at the bottom of the hill and were disappointed
that we still hadn't found any. So we headed back up the hill. About half way up, i wanted to check the milkweed one last time..and somehow spotted a tiny 1/2" caterpillar on one of the leaves. So we gathered him up, to bring home.

i found a young milkweed plant and snipped of the top section to bring back to feed our caterpillar. If you place it in some water it will stay fresh for several days. Then you need to replace the leaves with some fresh milkweed to keep your caterpillar happy.

While examining our milkweed, i was delighted to find two monarch eggs! Not long after discovering them, one hatched! If you click the picture above, you can see one egg and one newly hatched monarch caterpillar. This impression in the leaf is where the egg was, after the monarch eats it's egg. This little caterpillar is only about 2 mm long. We look forward to watching them grow, and transform.


greencocoon said...

very cool!! The kids and I keep checking the milkweed patches near our house for caterpillars or eggs..none yet ;( but we'll keep checking!

kate said...

I've got one caterpillar on my parsley, none on my milkweed. Reminds me that we need to go out and do a beach clean up soon!

themagiconions said...

Your kids look too gorgeous in their bandannas! What a great day you had... you helped Mother Nature by picking up trash and look at all the amazing gifts she gave you in return... lovely!
Thank you for sharing on Friday's Nature Table.
Blessings and magic.