A week or two ago my mom brought me a bouquet of queen ann's lace for my cubicle at work. They were gorgeous (thanks Mom!), but little did I know they harbored stowaways. After it had been there a few days, I noticed something on the flowers out of the corner of my eye. A caterpillar! Upon closer inspection, there were two. One yellow, black and green striped, the other black and orange. I brought them home, someone gave me a big (empty) pickle jar to keep them in, and I started feeding them. It was a little difficult to figure out what kind of butterfly they'll be, but it turns out they're both Black Swallowtail caterpillars (visit this website for photos of each life stage)
They were well taken care of while we were on vacation (thank you Neighbors!), and just this morning I noticed that one of them is in pre-pupa stage. Soon he'll create a cocoon and take a little rest, and when he's ready he'll come out as a beautiful butterfly. I was hoping that the whole process would take long enough that we could release the butterflies on Liam's birthday, but according to the information I've read, it won't take that long. Either way, I'm excited to see this miracle unfold before my eyes.