Fun Friday: Raising Caterpillars

About Fun Friday: I’m not usually the biggest fan of celebrating Friday’s.

Right now I’m working hard to figure out how to never retire. A vital part of that includes finding or creating a career that I look forward to working in every day.

Celebrating the weekends is great as long as we can enjoy our work also!

The weekend should focus more on the fun or relaxing activities we are looking forward to, rather than being happy about leaving work. Each Friday we’ll explore a little of how to focus ourselves in the right direction for the weekend. And sometimes, just have a little fun.

When I was a kid, we didn’t have the Internet. Not like we have it now, at least. I don’t remember even using it much until I was maybe 10. Even then it was still so new that we didn’t really know what to do with it.

Even as young as I am I’m old enough to remember those times without cell phones or email. My siblings and I played all day outside in the dirt, making “potions” and throwing tomatoes at each other.

I had an excellent childhood, but everything seems sort of a blur.

Until I discovered Monarch caterpillars.

My Dad told my brother and me about them on the way out to our grandparent’s house one day. When we arrived, we both raced to the backyard to find some caterpillars on the Milkweed plants, just like my Dad said we would.

Right then we saw the first of what would be many yellow, black, and white striped caterpillars that we raised, just like this one:

I must have raised hundreds of them that summer. I read every book and even joined an organization that studied Monarchs which sent me 200 tagged butterflies to release. Monarch butterflies migrate over 2,000 miles to spend the winter in warmer climates. We didn’t know how they did this, so I got to be a part of trying to figure that out.

This was the beginning of what would be my long journey of catching, raising, and enjoying the beauty of all different kinds of insects. I still raise caterpillars today, and last year finally bought a new net to teach my kids how to catch butterflies.

I look forward to helping my kids learn about all sorts of insects, but especially caterpillars. We’ve had an outbreak of butterflies here, and this weekend I think we’re going to see if we can find some caterpillars to raise!

If you want to learn how to raise caterpillars reply to this email and I’ll let you know if they’re in your area and how to get started!

Actionable Advice: Sit in your backyard or somewhere else in nature, relax, and just look around you for five minutes. You don’t have to enjoy bugs like I do, but recognize the peace that comes from stepping away from our fast-paced world for just a short time. Even watching videos of nature can boost positive emotions and reduce stress.