Several weeks ago O Boy was out riding his bike and discovered a woolly bear caterpillar. He brought it inside, we looked up a bunch of stuff on it on the computer and decided to try and actually keep this bug alive in his bug box (as opposed to all the others who have died after a few days incarceration). You'll note that, as is natural for a coastal caterpillar, the boys put a LARGE and heavy shell inside his bug box for him to climb around on rather than the traditional sticks and leaves...He almost got smushed by it several times as the boys carried the bug box around. Much to our surprise, it began making a cocoon the same evening we brought it in! It was the first time I've ever seen such a thing in action and it is truly an amazing feat. As O Boy says in his description below, the caterpillar did literally pull all that "woolly bear" hair off to make the cocoon; another one of the wonders of God's design. It was pretty neat to be able to see it so close up because of the way it built on the wall of the bug box. We're hoping it will (as one internet site promised) hibernate all winter in our bug box and then emerge in the spring as an Isabella Tiger Moth.
O Boy composed the following email for me to send out to "all his friends" to announce this special event.
To the friends of O Boy (Charlotte, Tolin, Gramma Alice, Mimi and Papa, Noah and Breiland, Josie, and Udai),
We have a caterpillar as our pet. His name is Yellow-Black and for his nickname he has Black-Yellow-Black. I found him going under my back tire and going through my training wheel and then out the other side. And he is already in his cocoon. He made his cocoon by taking off his hair. He was kind of biting his hair and taking it off.
from, O Boy
P.S. Thanks again, Charlotte for one of O Boy's best gifts ever (the bug box!) Now that he actually has a living bug in it we can stop calling it the Bug Graveyard. :-)