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butterflies in progress

April 17, 2012

Cristybella and I have been attending to lawn and garden chores nearly every weekend for the past couple of months.  We can hear baby birds chirping in their nests and are happy to enjoy the colorful blooming plants.

Last week I excitedly blogged about monarch caterpillars in the yard.

There were many more eggs than I imagined and the garden has been a revolving door of caterpillars.  We’ve kept an eye on a few as they make their way to the next phase of life.

After the caterpillars have eaten a huge helping of milkweed leaves, they depart that plant to find a place to get comfortable. And the shrub a few inches away is very inviting.

It takes them a little while to settle into the new spot where they’ll take up residence for the next week or so.  The insect attaches itself to the underside of a sturdy surface, then the metamorphosis begins.

They shed their striped skin and become a chrysalis.

In about a week and a half, the adult monarchs inside will emerge.  I’d love to witness that, but the chances are pretty slender.  We hope to catch a glimpse of one or two butterflies before they leave us.

It’s been so gratifying to glimpse into the magical side of Mother Nature.  Hope you’re having a wonderful week and thank you for reading!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. shar y permalink
    April 17, 2012 4:04 pm

    Mother nature is pretty amazing! Great photos!

  2. April 17, 2012 5:39 pm

    Oh, they are just soooooooooooooo awesome! And you get the upclose/personal view–what a blessed household to have them evolving outside of your back door.

    I do hope you’re graced to see them emerge in their full glory.
    Send ’em my way!! In a few weeks we’ll have plenty goodies around for snacking purposes!

    How very awesomely cool! You lucky ducks!!

  3. Andrew Maxwell permalink
    April 17, 2012 5:44 pm

    Great pics. I remember as a kid, trying to raise a caterpillar as a pet. I don’t know how, but it survived all the way to metamorphosis. When it emerged, it was a moth. I remember being extremely disappointed. Ha thinking back now, I’m amazed by the whole thing. Sorry, I’m done rambling…

  4. April 17, 2012 7:40 pm

    OMG, Diane, this was so fascinating to read and look at through your AWESOME photos!

    WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was like something out of National Geographic!!!!

    How lovely that you have this metamorphosis going on right in your very own backyard!

    “We can hear baby birds chirping in their nests and are happy to enjoy the colorful blooming plants.”

    Oh…don’t ya just LOVE Spring?

    Thanks so much for sharing, dear friend. REALLY enjoyed this!

    X to you and Cristybella!

  5. April 18, 2012 2:03 pm

    How fabulous, i’ve only ever seen them in Butterfly houses over here. It would be truly amazing to watch in the wild as they emerge. In the New Forest we watched as they hatched and spread their wings to dry off, but they were in special containers so the other bugs would come and eat them- the chance of this is high as for the first few hours after emerging they can’t fly due to wet wings. Once dried out they will give a few strength increasing flaps to get some heat into them and then they will be off. The Butterfly center estimated the whole process from start of emergence to flight at around 4-6 hours depending on the size of the Butterflies. I will be following this as usual in the hopes of seeing some pictures you have captured of the process. Fingers crossed for you x


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