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Monday, August 13, 2012

Monarch - The Next Generation, Part II

After my last depressing post, about the loss of our pine tree, I really didn't feel much like blogging about the garden, but there has been so much activity in the Monarch nursery that is our back yard, I had to share it!

The caterpillars had eaten our impressive stands of milkweed down to bare stalks. It was just as well they turned to chrysalises when they did - they were running out of food!

I did quite a bit of pruning on the milkweed and they're already responding by putting out more leaves. (Even more so than in this photo taken a couple of days ago of a chrysalis with water droplets)





We've had chrysalises in the oddest places -- the leg of a patio chair, along the eave of the house, on the garden fence, even the grill cover (can you see it?)


Today my husband got this wonderful closeup of the chrysalis on the grill cover.  It will be emerging tomorrow, I'm sure.

 

Below is a butterfly recently emerged from its chrysalis on a plant pot.


The three butterflies in the photos below emerged in the same afternoon, while I was at work.  


Luckily my husband is as fascinated by them as I am and snapped these photos for me!


And this isn't the end of them yet.  The chrysalises in the photos above haven't emerged yet, and there are more on the fence yet to emerge.  

 .  
 I even saw another caterpillar munching on milkweed yesterday.  I hope there's enough to sustain it!
 



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

6 comments:

Steph@RamblingWren said...

How wonderful! Nice that your garden is helping the Monarch population. My Milkweed is still waiting;) I found some Queen cats on it the other day, but they have disappeared.

Birdwoman said...

Lovely photos. Your garden has been a real boon to the Monarch population this year. Congratulations!

Jayne said...

Hi Steph. Have a look around your garden - you may find some chrysalises. Some of my caterpillers ranged 15 feet or more from the closest milkweed before choosing a place to change.

Jayne said...

Thanks Dorothy. I've been disappointed in the garden in so many ways this year, but overall I have to call it a success because of the Monarchs.

jayneonweedstreet said...

The monarchs are so exciting! My Mother had found the caterpillars munching my asclepsias and we wondered what the crysalis would look like - great post for us - the hunt begins!

Jayne said...

That's wonderful Jayne (nice to meet another Jayne, by the way!) I hope you are able to find some chrysalises in your garden.