An opportunity to practice creativity, compassion and balance everyday.
The concepts and discussions in this journal are posted for the purpose of education, contemplation, and self-exploration. They are never advice or directions but an invitation to cultivate your own perspective and illuminate your own wisdom.
We ended up with 23 beautiful monarch caterpillars munching away on our milkweed. They devoured several plants and were still hungry. After calling a few local nurseries we located a few more young plants. We now have every variety of milkweed monarchs like in our yard. Luckily, some of the seed pods were munched only a little, and they have seeded the yard. This plant, which was completely chewed down, is also already sprouting fresh, new leaves.
One morning we noticed that we were missing a few caterpillars. We started watching more closely and found that when the caterpillars are done eating, they get very hyper and march quickly up and down the stalks and leaves. Suddenly they will head down and off the plant to find a safe new place for their chrysalis. Hazel sat for many hours watching the caterpillars. She was able to observe the caterpillars find their safe branches, and watch them form the chrysalis. Because of her observations, we knew the location of 8 of the chrysalis. The above photo is of a pupa moments after the chrysalis was formed, having shed the last layer of caterpillar skin.
One morning Hazel noted this little fellow had fallen off his branch. We know it is a fella because female pupa have an extra line in one area. You need a magnifying glass to really see the line so we took this chance to have a look.
When the butterfly is about ready to emerge the chrysalis is clear and you can see the wing pattern within.
Here a male Monarch has just emerged. Males have thiner wing veins and two little black dots on the lower wings.
If you are a grown up, observing butterflies is only half the fun. It has been just as special watching little people spend hours patiently watching this real-life magic happening.
Here we are waiting for this Monarch's wings to dry so we can say farewell and wish him safe travels on his trip to Mexico.