Sunday, June 19, 2011

I once had a grasshopper for a pet. One of my cats had caught him and when I found him he was missing one of his big jumper legs and I felt bad and put him in a little terrarium with some leaves, thinking he might pass in a day or so but at least he wouldn't been tortured to death by the cat. I had that grasshopper for about nine months and when he died it felt almost as bad as when a pet you've had for years dies. I never realized quite how odd it was until a friend of mine was telling someone else in my presence. One of those, "My favorite story about her" stories. And that she said that I had never thought of (what made it her favorite story about me) was that grasshoppers probably aren't supposed to live for nine months. It had never occurred to me but apparently this is what she found so charming all along, not that I'd kept it but that I'd kept it alive. In the tradition of the grasshopper, take a look at my new house guests.

Found these guys out in my garden today munching on spinach and carrot tops and working their way toward the peas. I found a bitty one yesterday and moved him off to some morning glory's but when I came across these three more today (and another teensy guy after this who got away from me -but not back into the garden, at least) I decided to rehome them properly. 

 So here they are in their new ex-pickle jar turned caterpillar terrarium. I've donated some carrot tops and already ruined spinach leaf but also tossed in some carrot seeds that will grow and provide them some further munching. I'm hoping we can make it all the way through the chrysalis phase and I can release them as butterflies. They're very pretty: velvety black with bright green stripes, and I'm curious to see what they'll become. I'm also thinking that this pickle jar is like a studio apartment and may need to spend some time on craigslist looking for a better (real) terrarium with enough space to grow enough food to truly support them and give them a great life.
As you can see they seem to have adapted pretty quickly to their new, more domestic, lifestyle.

They're devouring those leaves pretty quickly and ironically I think I may have to pick up some spinach from the store to keep them fed. 

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