Have you ever watched a caterpillar eat a leaf? I mean really up close? I hadn't until today, right alongside my kids.
I caught a tiger moth caterpillar for Isaac yesterday and placed it in his bug box so I could show him when we came outside. (Unfortunately, I actually forgot about it until today.) Upon seeing the box, I asked Isaac if he wanted to see the cool caterpillar I caught for him. Isaac responded positively and I pulled a branch off a black cherry tree to entice the caterpillar out of the box. The caterpillar seemed to be in quite a rush. I can't imagine why. I mean, it hadn't eaten in over 24 hours. (Ooooops.) So the fuzzy insect made a mad dash for the leaves on the branch and immediately began eating devouring his lunch. :)
We watched him for a solid 15 minutes eating a portion of a leaf. Not only did we watch, but we listened too. He smacked--and let me tell you he was LOUD. :)
He had half of the black cherry leaf consumed in a mere 15 minutes. He was hungry I tell you! After that he was full I suppose because he turned around and headed back down the branch. Talking about a very hungry caterpillar triggered Isaac's memory of his beloved book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle and he ran inside to retrieve it. Isaac then proceeded to read to his new fuzzy friend.
After being read to and sure of having a full belly we released "Racer" (To be so little this caterpillar could move!) onto the black cherry tree, bid him "farewell," and watched as he climbed out of sight.
After returning inside Olivia, Isaac, and I drew "Racer" in our sketch books.
Watching a tiger moth caterpillar up close and personal was fascinating, as well as entertaining. I'm so thankful I had the privilege to be a part of this amazing experience with my children today.