I love having carrots in the garden. They are relatively easy to grow (the only bad part is thinning them a week or two after they sprout. It's back-breaking labor and I usually squish one row as I'm thinning another). But the best part is that sometimes I get these in my carrots:I found this guy/gal a little over a week ago. We fed him/her many carrot leaves. He/she even escaped the jar once but didn't go very far.

Last Saturday, the caterpillar finally pooped out (literally), climbed up on the stick I placed in the habitat (jar), and he apostrophized.

He/She (Argh. I hate not knowing the gender. From now on, it's a "he" named Albert)--Albert--stayed like this for a day. He'd twitch when jostled, but that's about it. I wondered if he'd died because I couldn't remember how long these caterpillars stayed punctuated before they went to this:
But Albert reminded me it only takes a day. We went to bed with Albert being a brightly colored punctuation mark on Saturday, and on Sunday morning, he was a brown nodule hanging off his little stick.

The Biology lesson for today will be a labeling of chrysalis parts. A) future butterfly head with antenna bumps
B) loop of caterpillar secretion that dried into a pretty tough thread that holds Albert in place while he is without use of all of his limbs
C) future butterfly wings.
D) future butterfly body
E) jet pack (in case the wings don't work)
F) crumb on my kitchen counter

I'm hoping that Albert is done metamorphisizing in a few days. From my previous dealings with this kind of creature (the black swallowtail butterfly), this stage lasts 7 to 10 days. So anytime between Sunday and Wednesday, Albert will have finished his makeover and will be ready to wow the world (or at least me). Go Albert!

PS. In non-Albert related news, I finally finished my Personal History class. My grade posted yesterday: A. Yay!


Jen said…
Wow, what a cool looking caterpillar Albert is/was. I'm so glad he pupaed because you expressed concern like any worried mother that you thought he may not. His cocoon isn't nearly as color or cute as his caterpillar self. Can't wait to see him sprout into butterflyhood. I was planning to post today about Russell. We can compare milestones like all mothers proud of their offspring.
Jenni said…
Don't compare. It hurts the self-esteem of the butterfly. Imagine if Russell didn't pupate as fast. Or if Albert's wings weren't as pretty as Russell's. You wouldn't want them going around worrying about that. I am glad that Albert comes with a jet pack, just in case. I was wondering where the tick was, though.