I Know They’re Here Somewhere…..

September 22, 2009 1 Comment

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.

 

These are small but delicious.  And if we're lucky we get some before the birds and rabbits eat them all!

These are small but delicious. And, if we're lucky, we get some before the birds and rabbits eat them all!

I bent over, picked one off and as I was popping it in my mouth, I saw it!

 

Bingo!

Bingo!

Actually, I saw two.

 

This one is a little further along.

This one is a little further along.

And a caterpillar getting ready to change.

 

Finding a good spot

Finding a good spot

 

They were all on the underside of our “fence”.

This doesn't really fence anything in, but it sure looks nice.

This doesn't really fence anything in, but it sure looks nice.

I ran inside to get the camera and found the third chrysalis when I was getting pictures of the other two.

 

This guy is near the bottom (it's a little blurry, sorry).  He didn't want to climb very high!

This guy is near the bottom (it's a little blurry, sorry). He didn't want to climb very high!

The next day, the caterpillar was hanging in position to change, but I missed the actual change. 

"Hey, whatcha doin'?"  "Oh, just hanging around"  (I know...boo, hiss)

"Hey, whatcha doin'?" "Oh, just hanging around" (I know...boo, hiss)

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. 

 

Working that butterfly magic....

Working that butterfly magic....

I’m excited to see them emerge, but I will have to time it just right. 

You can see the wings starting to show through.

You can see the wings starting to show through.

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!

Dig it!

Filed in: General, Photos

About the Author:

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. LJ says:

    Great Pictures! Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply