I have fond memories as a child, strolling near the railroad tracks in the spring in search of milkweed. Of course, we were not looking for milkweed, but one of its freeloaders. Yes, I am referring to the lovely striped Monarch caterpillar. We would take these caterpillars home and put a stick in a bucket with some milkweed, and check them every day to view the metamorphosis. It was great fun to finally let those butterflies fly away in search of their first nectar meal.
So of course, living in the woods, we have gobs of milkweed available for monarchs. For several years now, we have scoured with the boys for caterpillars and watched the transformation on our front step. The boys check every morning to see the progress of the caterpillars. It is a nice little responsibility for them to gauge when they need more food (and/or thus remove the waste).
We caught this little guy right before he was ready to emerge. Note the difference in color and you can almost see their wings through the translucent skin of the cocoon. Amazing.
Meanwhile, N. just told me that they were having a "picnic with food" behind the couch. Yes, that is what I said a picnic with food. Since this was not something that was planned with my help, I better go investigate. I am hoping it is not peanut butter and honey again.