Every year it happens… the leaves pop out on the local mulberry trees, and then it’s time to start the silkworms.
The Ancient Wisdom version says that you should start the silkworm eggs when the leaves are the size of a mouse’s ear. We don’t have the kind of long, slow spring where that lasts for long – so by the time I get a chance to snap a picture, they’re almost the size of a dime. This is a feral white mulberry tree in my yard in south Dallas.
These are the eggs. You can tell from the size of the fibers in the torn paper towel edges, these are pretty tiny. They’re about the size of poppy seeds.
When you get really, really close up, you can see the texture of the egg shell. The forming caterpillar embryos inside are in a state of rest called diapause; it allows them to survive through winter temperatures without dying, and they begin to metabolize and develop once they warm up in the spring.