Building A Butterfly House

September 19th, 2009

Yesterday, at work, I found the above pictured caterpillar in a flat of ground cover plants.  He had already nibbled the leaves off of three plants and was rapidly mowing down a fourth.  

I bundled him up with instructions from Cassie and Darla at work on how to care for him and brought him home with enough ground cover to feed him for a while.





Jack and Drew helped me assemble a little house for our caterpillar to live in.






We put three plants in a large glass container.




We added a few sticks for the caterpillar to hang from when he (she?) is ready to build a cocoon.











We put some window screen material over the top of the container for a lid.






And tied it on with some twine.






There’s our guy!  I hope we didn’t freak him out too much.






We think he is a swallow tail.  It will be fun to watch what happens.  

And now I have something other than the ceiling fan at which to stare.


  • I hope you get a beautiful butterfly that glides up toward heaven and freedom. It is something for us to look forward to and a great learning tool for kids. Thanks for sharing! I eagerly await the results!

  • I think your right about the swallow-tail. We used to have tons of these on a fennel plant back in NC. If you gently touched them they would put “horns” up from their head. Scared me to death the first time one did that!

  • Anonymous:

    I have always wanted to do that.

    Last week at the zoo, unbeknownst to me (is that a word?) a yellow caterpillar crawled up my pant leg. I felt a sting and thinking it was an aunt, I squished it – guts all over my leg and pants. My skin is still trying to work out all the little barbs it left in my leg. It still itches like crazy. I found out that it is poisonous for small animals to eat them. For me, it was like rubbing fiberglass insulation all over my leg.

    I would rather have watched it bloom into a butterfly…….and I think it would have too.

  • Barb:

    That anonymous was me, sorry.

  • Stephanie:

    What a wonderful project; my daycare kids did this…it was amazing….please post pictures….

  • Oh, I can’t wait to see what happens!

  • That’s a gorgeous caterpillar! I love his/her colors! And that butterfly house is very cool. I want one. I can’t wait to see the cacoon and resulting beauty!

  • Jayne:

    The caterpillar is so lovely, I’m sure the butterfly will be beautiful!

  • JudyK:

    Great idea. I think you are correct, it is a swallowtail.

  • I’m so glad you have something other than the ceiling to contemplate!

  • joann in tx:

    about the only caterpillars i’ve seen around my house are the black fuzzy ones. i don’t think they turn into butterflies! :(

    i’ve never seen a butterfly house! how cool is that! something you all can watch and learn from!

    how long will it take for this little guy to start his cacoon and turn
    into a butterfly?

  • This is the coolest thing!

  • Saskia:

    Dear Rechelle,
    I just read some of your blogs and I must thank you. I wasn’t raised with religion, so i was born thinking and now i call myself an atheist. I allways thought, that a believer could never be really persuaded, but i had “faith” in human intelligence and reason. But somehow i gradually gave up hope… and than I read your article about your excuses and your parable. Thank you. especially your parable made me cry. the last part is so full with freedom and relieve… Thank you again for showing me that not only reason, but also heart can change something so blind as faith in a god.