This summer, several of our branches are raising Painted Lady caterpillars. These came to us as kits last Friday. In the kit you get a butterfly house, which is this nifty pop-up tent that you use for the chrysalis stage. You also get 10 caterpillars. Live caterpillars, which need a bit of care and attention. We excitedly opened the package, and read all the instructions. Then we looked up some info on the internet to supplement our written instructions.
That’s when we learned about FRASS. Apparently, caterpillars poop a lot. And so, as diligent caterpillar carers, we got some craft sticks out and cleaned their little containers (file that under “other duties as required”). That stuff we thought was food in the little plastic bin, that was actually frass. Isn’t that a fun word to say? It is a little sassy and so very scientific.
Adding science to our Summer Reading Adventure made so much sense this year, and raising caterpillars so we can release butterflies sounded exciting. It has certainly been a learning experience for our staff already — we hope you can stop by one of our branches and watch the progress! You can watch the butterflies in Bridgetown, Hantsport, Kentville, Lawerencetown, Middleton, Port Williams, and Wolfville. The caterpillars have already doubled in size over the weekend, so make sure you stop by frequently to see what’s happening! And don’t forget to join the Summer Reading Challenge while you are there.