For the past several weeks Monarch caterpillars have been eating all of our Butterfly Weed. I have gone outside every day and checked on their progress. I saw some that were no more than a quarter of an inch long and others that were two inches long. I love watching them chew away at the edge of a leaf that keeps getting shorter and shorter. At some point, though, they have to go to their next phase of life, the chrysalis. No problem. With that many caterpillars I should be seeing them everywhere. I looked in the plants around the Butterfly Weeds. Nothing. I looked in the birch trees. Nothing. Hmmm. Where are they?
The other day while wandering around looking at the garden and thinking of what needs to be done and what we want to do next year, I noticed that the strawberries were producing again and were ready to eat.
I bent over, picked one off and as I was popping it in my mouth, I saw it!
Actually, I saw two.
And a caterpillar getting ready to change.
They were all on the underside of our “fence”.
I ran inside to get the camera and found the third chrysalis when I was getting pictures of the other two.
The next day, the caterpillar was hanging in position to change, but I missed the actual change.
I had checked in the afternoon when I got home and he was still hanging there. About three hours later after Dwayne had gotten home, he was a chrysalis.
I’m excited to see them emerge, but I will have to time it just right.
I’m just happy that we are home to such a wonderful natural phenomena. Dwayne has been wanting to get a piece of log from the Coralville Reservoir. Not only would that be a fine addition to the garden… it’s a potential home to more butterfly chrysalis!