We have been raising a whole slew of bugs lately and it's been fun, if not a little crazy. We started off with painted lady butterflies, which are easy because everything is done for you. They provide the larva, the food, and the habitat.
Next we moved on to praying mantises, which were a lot of work because we didn't know what we were supposed to do (we failed to read the instructions) and they required a lot of upkeep, not unlike having pets. Constant watering and feeding with fruit flies, it was hard, and of course the work fell on my shoulders. It was nice when we finally released them into the garden, and the kids reported seeing them recently, so that's cool.
Now we are moving into the final phase with our monarch butterflies. For the past two years we raised them but had to have friends release them into the wild because we went on vacation. This time around we finally got to see them, or at least one of them. The others are still in cocoons, but we think they'll pop out before we leave. Hopefully. We had to put the cat in the house because we were worried she would catch and eat the butterfly. It was nice. When monarchs emerge, they tend to hang around and become comfortable with you. It's a special, magical moment, and one of the few times in life a butterfly will sit quietly on your hand. They are such cool creatures.
Those are the kids' hands, BTW. Until the next time, thanks for reading.