My son is collecting bugs.
It started as a fun past time, catching grasshoppers, digging for earthworms, searching the herbs in our garden for caterpillars.
He found a few fuzzy caterpillars grazing among the branches of our basil plants and put them in mason jars. He is fascinated by watching them crawl on his arms and in the grass. As the days have gone by he has found more caterpillars. They’ve now graduated from the small jars to a large, plastic bucket for their home. He’s filled it with a few sticks and basil leaves to keep them fed and entertained. They are well kept little creatures.
Yesterday morning, over breakfast, I casually mentioned that the basil in the garden probably wouldn’t be around much longer. With shorter days and colder overnight temperatures our garden is starting to fade.
My statement lead to this conversation…
Samuel: “So, what happens to the caterpillars when there isn’t any more basil?”
Me: “Well, they die. It’s getting too cold for them and the basil. It’s just what happens this time of year.”
Samuel: “Really?! Then I am picking basil after school. Lots of it!”
And that is exactly what he did. We now have a large bag of basil in the produce bin of our fridge. He is determined his caterpillars are going to make it through the winter. Unfortunately, I think a lesson in the life cycle of a caterpillar is in our future. I’m pretty sure they aren’t meant to survive a Nebraska winter. Even if their owner has picked enough basil for 10 caterpillars to do just that.