This past Saturday I took Miles with me to the market. He almost didn't come, but he was rewarded this time not with a chocolate croissant from the Flour Shop but instead, the discovery of a monarch caterpillar ensconced in the fronds of fennel from Salvaterra's Gardens. I turned over the fennel to put it in my bag after I paid for it and gasped, audibly. We put him in a separate bag (how'd he turn into a he all of a sudden?) and Miles carefully toted it around the market. He showed it to anyone we knew who would be interested and regaled them.
I thought we could chart its progress with posts every few days about it but this caterpillar moved faster than I thought. We made a little habitat for it in a large Ball jar, poked holes in the lid, and the kids got some sticks and a rock and greens from weeds. I added more fennel. It chowed down on fennel frond after fennel frond. (It was uninterested in cilantro and I wasn't anywhere near an easy supply of milkweed, which they like.)
I noticed it had become stationary in the past day or so and was barely moving. I suspected it was conserving its energy. Then, as I was cooking dinner last night, I noticed it was partially hanging off the stick. There was a thin strand, barely perceptible, coming from its body. Then, it started moving and I realized what was going on. I called the kids into the kitchen and this is what we saw.