Monday, June 21, 2004

What a lovely weekend! The humidity disappeared, and we spent a relaxing father's day weekend just enjoying being outside for the first time in several days. We went walking on the boardwalk and played on the climbing wall.

The kids and I have been hunting for more butterfly eggs on the undersides of our leaves. The zebra swallowtail eggs still haven't hatched, but the orange eggs did. Eeeewww! My best guess is that they were ladybeatle eggs because the larvae are quite distinctive. But, it's pretty hard to identify insect eggs as there are so many out there!

We found three zebra swallowtail caterpillars in their first and second instars--very cool and growing every day. We saw one caterpillar after it shed its first instar. We also caught a giant fritillary, which we kept inside overnight and then set free. You can see some pictures once I get them posted.

We've been researching the different life stages of butterflies and the different foods necessary for each stage. Last week we bought some milkweed, pentas, yarrow, snap dragons and verbena to fill in some flowers in our herb garden. We got two different kinds of milkweed, which should help to attract monarchs as well as other butterflies to our yard.

We had some friends over for a playdate today, and the kids had a great time. They played on the climber, fed the fish, turned onion stalks into magic wands, drew with sidewalk chalk and played dress-up. The kids played together really well, and it was nice because they balanced each other out, too. The oldest friend is a girl a couple months older than Em, and she has two younger brothers--one Julia's age and one about a year younger than Sam. So, it was nice for Katie to be with some girls for a change, and Sam really enjoyed playing with boys for a change.

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