June 22, 2011

The Monarchs

Remember when I found two monarch caterpillars on a milkweed plant, and brought them in the house so we could witness their metamorphosis?

Yes, that's caterpillar poop on the leaf!


Two days later, I got up in the morning and checked on them. The larger of the two was hanging from a leaf in the "J" position. I checked on it throughout the day; I wanted to see the formation of the chrysalis. We had to go to town in the afternoon, and when we got home the process was already finished. A pretty, green chrysalis hung from the leaf. There were even a few specks of gold glitter (or so it seemed to me).


The smaller caterpillar continued to eat and eat and eat. I had to move it once; it was threatening to chew completely through the leaf where the other one was attached. I continued to bring in fresh milkweed leaves daily.


By the afternoon of the third day, the smaller caterpillar was under a leaf and not as active as it had been. Aha, I thought, it's nearly time for this one too. Sure enough, by afternoon it too was hanging down in a "J".


I was hopeful that this time I could watch the process. I took a photo every couple of hours. The next morning it was still a hanging caterpillar. I went outside to milk, and when I came back inside it was a green chrysalis. That was fast - I missed it again.

It wiggled for awhile; my friend Carol said it was "rearranging its body parts" so it could become a butterfly. How awesome is that?


They are so pretty. They remind me of seashells with the molded ridges, pearly color, and gold flecks, even a rim of gold on the top. Such intricate beauty, such a wondrous creation. Click on the photo to make it bigger and you'll see what I mean.

Their timing was good: they made their chrysalides just two days apart, they are in the pupa stage for 10-14 days, and our granddaughter would arrive in four days. Perfect!

Part One

Part Two - this post

Part Three

1 comment:

  1. That's amazing! Such wonders our Lord creates! Thank you so much for taking pictures and sharing them! I've never seen that!
    The Lord must want your grandaughter to see that! So marvellous!

    ReplyDelete

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