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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Brand New Monarch

We've had quite a lot of success with our certified Monarch Waystation, but with all the milkweed, caterpillars and chrysalises (chrysalii??) I've never actually seen a Monarch emerge.

Until today, that is.

I noticed yesterday that one of the chrysalises had turned color, so I knew it wasn't going to be long.

I went outside this morning, meaning to get a photo of the almost black chrysalis but when I got out there, I was too late for that particular photo, but right on time for the rest of the show!

I stood a couple of feet away, fascinated, and snapped several photos.

I was a little bit worried because although it was nice and sunny today, it was also quite windy and I thought the butterfly might get blown away before it was ready to fly.

In fact, after being buffeted around for half an hour or so, it did get blown down. I went outside and didn't see it so I assumed it had flown away, but actually my husband noticed it on the ground.  I put my hand down next to it and it crawled on to my fingers!

Thinking that what it needed was nourishment, I walked it over to the Dallas Red Lantana and set it down on the plant. The area had the double advantage of being in the sunshine and also protected from a lot of the wind.

It seemed to sit in one place for quite a while and I worried again that something was wrong, and that perhaps the episode would end the same way it did last Christmas when a Monarch emerged and was unable to fly.

But about 30 minutes later I went outside again and as I raised the camera to take another photo, the butterfly fluttered up and away over the wall.  Later still, I spotted a Monarch flying around in the garden looking strong and healthy.  I like to think it was "my" Monarch and that my humble little Monarch Waystation is making a difference.

We've still got three more chrysalises that I know of and I hope all goes smoothly for them too. 

Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.

1 comment:

Carol said...

What a wonderful event to witness! Thanks for sharing!