Monarchs in My Garden: Part 2

The female monarch has thick black veins on the forewings and hindwings

My previous post mentioned one female monarch came back from the south earlier than I expected. She laid many eggs on my milkweed. There were three adult monarchs that emerged from the chrysalises before our Memorial Day weekend trip to see our grandkids in Oregon.

The male monarch has two thick dots on the hindwings

Before going on the trip, I asked my neighbor to babysit the caterpillars, but she didn’t feel comfortable doing it. I bought two additional butterfly cages with a total of four, and put the milkweed with the most eggs in the cages, then left them alone. One cage had five chrysalises. I left the cage door open in case the adult monarchs emerge while we were gone.

A mess is put at the top of the milkweed pot level so that the toddler caterpillars won’t fall to the bottom of the cage.

When we came back from the trip, two of the chrysalises had only empty shells. I was glad the cage door was open, so the butterflies flew away. There were still three monarchs that emerged after we returned home.

They crawled around the cage until they straightened the wrinkled wings to be strong enough to fly

The other three cages had tons of caterpillars. Some grew bigger in our absence. Some eggs were hatched.

I only had enough milkweed to feed the caterpillars I had so far. My visit to the nursery was disappointing because the plant was dry and almost dead but cost the same. Currently, there are about 20 chrysalises in four cages. When all the adult butterflies emerge, I’ll pack up the cages.

These are 7 of the 20 chrysalises

My home-grown milkweed is doing well. Hopefully, I won’t need to purchase commercial ones next year.

I took a photo of them before they flew away

My monarch raising season is almost over this year. I made a few recordings of the different stages. I want to show you two of them. If you don’t want to spend 14 minutes watching them, you could fast forward.

Incredible creature
Amazing transformation

We all have our beautiful butterflies within us, you and me!

Have a Wonderful Weekend!

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