Ok, so as of this morning, we were down to two caterpillars, I think a bird got one! I got my butt in gear and picked up the large habitat at the pet store & parsley at the organic market. Got home and realized that some of the parsley in the middle of the bunch was slimy, ewww, looks like they spray their produce too much, it was soggy! So I washed every single piece of parsley in cool water. Hope the caterpillars appreciate it.
Put the parsley in two small vases in the habitat and this afternoon while Adam and Ruby were over, I moved the two remaining caterpillars by snipping the stems they were on in my planter and inserting into the bunches.
Two cool things thus far:
1. They have doubled or tripled in size over the past 48 hours.
2. One of them didn't like me touching him (while figuring out how to move them) and stuck out his osmeterium (w00t for new words) at me, which was impressive...and then there was this SMELL. I had to make him repeat it to be sure that the smell really came from that little guy, it's such a BIG and FOUL smell. I turned to show the kids and Adam, and apparently the smell hit him before I could explain! LOL. I was SO psyched about this discovery. Oddly, the other 'pillar was more content and didn't object to being touched. The feisty one won't do it now, though. Have they acclimated to me? Did I break the caterpillar?
Several hours after putting them in the habitat with the purchased parsley, I noticed that they hadn't eaten a thing since I had moved them. I couldn't stand it, felt like I was starving the little guys. One was wandering and seemed to be searching for food. I saw it inspect a leaf and could almost feel the disappointment coming off the poor thing. I uprooted my lone parsley plant and transplanted it to the terrarium. Both of them eagerly crawled off the "new" parsley and settled right onto the plant, then ate voraciously. I feel awful, they each went through a leaf in under 5 minutes. Their relief is almost palpable. Yes, I'm attributing human qualities to insects. I feel so guilty for starving them all afternoon.
I am *such* a geek about stuff like this. Dan thought it was hilarious (and cool), and told me that it's very illustrative of my personality that I find "pests" eating my parsley and my reaction is to dig up the parsley, put it in a critter house, and watch them eat all evening. LOL. Griff and I also saw one poop (like, saw it emerge and everything) and we were both psyched. Such a geek!