Towards the end of the term, Jana's science teacher brought in larvae of silkworms, assigned to each student in class. J called her's, "Chomper." Actually, when I got to know him, it was an appropriate name. The silk worms were still young caterpillars on the last day of science class. Students were invited to ask their parents if they could take them home. They just feed on mulberry tree leaves. We volunteered since there is a large mulberry tree around the block, we pass by it daily to the school bus stop.
What made it even more interesting was that Jana and Michael were scheduled to leave for Myrtle Beach, SC the following Monday. So we packed up the worms and leaves for their road trip. When they arrived, my in-laws met them and eventually, it was my MIL who took care of the silk worms while in Myrtle Beach.
On Tuesday, I flew out to Las Vegas for work. I eventually met up with them Sunday in NC, where J and Michael picked me up at the Raleigh Airport. There I was, at the airport, with a bunch more freshly harvested mulberry leaves.
The silk worms had more than doubled their size over the past week. Then on Wednesday morning, they refused to eat and by noon, they were spinning their cocoons. So much for the 1 hour I spent harvesting, cleaning and packing the mulberry leaves.
About 2 weeks later, Chomper had broken out of his cocoon. Within days, he/she laid eggs and is now dying. What a life cycle they go through.
I'll post photos in a follow-up post. In the meantime, here's a link to learn more about silk worms