Last weekend, the Kid and I went out to our local farm-and-garden-center-and-general-place-of-agricultural-goodness to add a new friend to our bunch--a cecropia caterpillar, which the Kid has named, "Car".
I won't lie, the Kid's interest in Car lasted just long enough to give him (her?) the silly name. I, on the other hand, am fascinated.
After shedding his skin about five times (from looking at pictures on the internet, I think we're already up to skin two or three), growing larger all the while, Car will form a cocoon sometime around the first of August. Then, next Spring, he will hatch into a big, beautiful moth, just in time to quickly mate and die. Like, seriously--once he turns into a moth he won't even have parts to eat with.
Right now, however, he's voracious. He only eats apple (or crab-apple) leaves, so we've been stealing a few each day from a tree that's on our running route. (Please don't shoot us kind neighbors!) He nibbles and poops, poops and nibbles--both things I'm happy to see evidence of each day, because it's otherwise hard to tell if he's really alive or not.
I know that probably sounds like watching paint dry, but really it's neat. Provided he continues to thrive, I will update you with more as this little fellow progresses.