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backyard audubon society hails new members

April 18, 2012

on this fine spring day, we greet two adult monarchs.  One chrysalis had been indoors because we were fearful of bad weather, the Friday lawn care crew’s leaf blower, lizards, and a host of other possible doom-and-gloom scenarios.

The monarch’s metamorphosis within its chrysalis occurs over the span of 9 days.

On the first day, they are bright green.


By day 9, the adult markings are clearly visible. 


It must happen all of a sudden, because the next time I checked, it was a butterfly.

At this point the butterfly’s wings need to unwrinkle and the butterfly’s body needs to eliminate excess liquid.  See how his wings (above) are still crumpled? 

One of this guy’s siblings emerged from her chrysalis in the nearby shrub at precisely the same time.

By 2:30, the insect’s thorax was much more pronounced and the abdomen narrower.

By 3pm both were flexing their wings

 and by 3:30 they were off on a new adventure.

I photographed these two insects within 5 feet of each other.  I secured the twig to which the first chrysalis was attached to the arm of an outdoor chair.  Coincidentally, another chrysalis is metamorphasizing on the very same chair, just beneath the very same armrest.  We didn’t notice it until today.

Apparently the monarchs are far from finished.  There are still caterpillars growing

and eggs prepared to hatch (yes that tiny white dot near the middle of the leaf is an egg).

Just like a couple of 7th graders excited about assembling their science projects, Cristybella and I are prepared to recruit new members to our backyard audubon society 🙂

Thanks for your enthusiasm!  It’s such fun sharing the excitement!




sharing with
Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch
nifty thrifty sunday at nifty thrifty things
10 Comments leave one →
  1. April 18, 2012 6:31 pm

    I replied to oyur last post about the time factor and wasn’t far wrong, so glad you managed to capture it on camera. How wonderful new life is. xx

    • April 18, 2012 6:35 pm

      hi Claire! yes, you were right on target! The warm temperatures might work in their favor too – it was probably about 80 degrees (f) today. Thanks so much for checking back 🙂

  2. April 18, 2012 6:50 pm


    Diane, I am so happy and AMAZED that you witnessed this entire metamorphosis, and were able to capture it on FILM!

    BRA-VA, girl! 🙂

    I know this sounds silly, but as I was reading this post and viewing the photographs, I actually got teary-eyed because it was so BEAUTIFUL!

    Aren’t butterflies precious? They come into this world, yet don’t live very long. But the time that they are here, they do a lot. Mainly, they are a reminder to us to take time to NOTICE the beauty around us!

    Diane, these photo are absolutely stunning!

    I can’t thank you enough for sharing this experience with us. I so enjoyed these two posts!

    Much X to you and Cristybella!

  3. April 18, 2012 6:50 pm


    You CAUGHT ’em!!!
    I’m so excited for you. Isn’t it just too cool?!
    It’s just tooooooooooooooooo cool!
    And awesome photos.
    OHmygosh, I’m so glad you caught ’em AND got photos to boot!


  4. FLOR LARA permalink
    April 18, 2012 7:58 pm


  5. April 19, 2012 2:03 pm

    WOW! I’m so happy you got to capture the metamorphosis and shared this with us! It’s beautiful and the photos are stunning!! I can only imagine how amazing it must have been to witness in person! 🙂
    Thank you so much for sharing, Diane!

  6. April 19, 2012 2:27 pm

    Gorgeous pictures!! I remember seeing that all the time when I was growing up and i havent seen that i YEARS!!! Brings back so many memories

  7. Maggie permalink
    April 25, 2012 10:18 am

    We live “next door” to Pacific Grove, CA and have seen the Monarchs for years, but nothing this up close and personal. Pretty amazing (and patient of you). These are fabulous photos. Thanks for sharing this wonderful event!


  1. {nifty thrifty sunday #55}
  2. second season of monarchs « home sweet homemade

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