york swirls

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Homeschooling in Action

Cecropia caterpillar on a small maple tree.

The cecropia caterpillar in his new home.

Erin turning the aquarium into a habitat for the cecropia caterpillar.

The tree frogs after Erin turned them loose.

Early this summer, we found a cecropia moth outside one night. Its wings were battered, and it looked pretty bedraggled. The girls named her Stacy. They put her on the maple tree and kept a close watch on her for the next couple of days. Erin got on the computer and researched cecropia moths. They found out that she was dying, but she would lay her eggs first....kind of like Charlotte, the spider, in Charlotte's Web. Over the next couple of days, she laid over 100 eggs on the maple tree. Erin says they lay 1,000 eggs, so she had probably been laying eggs all over our yard. A couple of weeks later, the eggs hatched into tiny black caterpillars.

This week, Erin found this big, fat caterpillar on the maple tree. It is one of Stacy's "children". Erin had several tree frogs in our aquarium she had been feeding most of the summer. She set the frogs free & built a habitat for the caterpillar in the aquarium, planting small maple trees that were growing in the yard. He has eaten the leaves off of several trees already. We are anxious to see if he will make a cocoon and turn into a moth next spring. What a great science project!!

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