Sunday, August 25, 2019

Monarch Butterfly update

Update on the Monarch butterfly caterpillars! On August 4 and 5th. We collected three caterpillars from our milkweed plants and put them in cages on a bookshelf in our back porch.

For two weeks the caterpillars ate milkweed leaves daily and grew long and thicker in their bodies. Daily I provided  fresh leaves and removed the many round poop pellets from their cages. When they climbed to the top of the cages
and  had attached themselves there  by Wednesday morning and their caterpillar
bodies were hanging in a “j” shape we knew they were on the threshold of entering their chrystalsis stage! By late Wednesday afternoon we could no longer see any caterpillars! In their place were three shiny green chrystalsis pods hanging from the top in each cage!
Amazing! On. August the 31st. We expect we shall see three adult Monarch butterflies, one in each cage.  Magical!  Butterfly pictures of Adult Monarch butterflies in the cages in about ten days are next folks!

Monday, August 12, 2019

dry milkweed blossoms

The stalks on this milkweed blossom are drying and as they become dried out and brittle they fall from the plant. Realising that the little monarch butterfly caterpillar climbing on the blossom stalks might fall to the ground and be lost from its food source of mlkweed leaves, I took the caterpillar and picked a fresh milkweed leaf and placed them together in a cage for its safety and development. In about two weeks time this little caterpillar should be in its chrysalis stage, after which it will become an adult Monarch butterfly, then hopefully on its way to Mexico for its wintering! Nature is magical! Please help protect Nature's many, many delicate, beautiful creatures!

Sunday, August 04, 2019

Monarch butterfly eggs hatching!

I am monitoring my milkweed plants looking for signs of newly hatched eggs. a hole in a leaf might indicate that an egg has hatched and a tiny caterpillar might be feeding there! YES, I found such a holey condition on two leaves this morning and I found two very, very small caterpillars nearby the hole in the leaves. I would approximate their body length to be about 1/8 inch in length. Apparently they will remain in this, their caterpillar stage for about two weeks, munching on milkweed leaves until they have fattened up and they become much larger, getting ready for their chrysalis stage. I do hope they survive and I can keep track of them! In the picture below you can see from where the Monarch's egg hatched. You can see the tiny caterpillar and also the hole from which it hatched from to the left of the caterpillar.
Just imagine that this winter this tiny caterpillar may be an adult Monarch butterfly wintering in Mexico!! Isn't nature fascinating! Lets all do our share in protecting Milkweed patches!

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Monarch Butterfly Eggs!

The female Monarch butterfly was back yesterday and was laying a few eggs on the underside of milkweed leaves!

 The egg shown above is a very small pinpoint white dot
The egg shown above is an enlargement of the egg found on the underside of the milkweed leaf.
Caterpillars are expected in four days! ( maybe by the Weekend?,)We shall monitor these developments carefully!  Please go to the following link for detailed information about the metamorphosis process of the monarch butterfly.
I shall follow this process on this blog within the next couple of weeks or so.