Sunday, June 8, 2014

Creatures in Our Kitchen

::  Triops have been around for 200 million years.
::  They are crustaceans.
::  They live in standing fresh water, mostly temporary rainwater pools & are rarely found in permanent water sources.
::  Eggs survive drying and freezing & hatch when pools refill with water.

We don't keep proper pets.  I'm wise to the whole "who will take care of the animals?" bit.  But, I feel we do need creatures around sometimes, of some sort at least.

We did a double your pleasure, double your fun life science extravaganza this spring.  Triops AND butterflies.  Our kitchen/nursery was a hotbed of hatching-emerging activity.  Wild times here.

I sure do love being a homeschooling family.  With a big chalkboard.  We kept track of what we were growing, when to feed, how much to feed, who was doing what.  Linus was first to run down to give us the triops count each morning (big ones sometimes eat little ones -- eek).  Sela tended to check on the butterflies on her morning stroll through the house.

Right now we have several mysteries we're working on.  One: what are those creatures that hatched in the tank that don't look like triops?  And, two: what should we feed these water creatures, now that we've run out of the food that came with the kit?  

We've now released our butterflies.  We watched all five little (dead-looking on arrival and often thereafter) caterpillars form chrysalides, but we only had the opportunity to see one butterfly emerge.  The others all did -- just not when we were awake.  Watching the process unfold was a really special experience -- I'm so pleased we did it.  Next time, I'd like to carry our adventure over into raising a second generation, as Shelli did.  You can read about it here.  Very inspiring!

Now I'm trying to figure out what other creatures would fit nicely with our offbeat-pet lifestyle.  Suggestions welcome. 


  1. we did a lot of “temporary” pets — catch it, keep it 2 or 3 days to observe, draw, photograph, etc., and then let it go where you found it. :)

    let’s see…

    box turtle, baby snapping turtle, various small snakes, wolf spider O_O, grasshoppers, crickets, butterflies, snails, tree frogs, toads, a really big beetle…

  2. Oh! Great suggestions! Thank you!!


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