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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

On the First Day of Winter -- We Have Monarch Caterpillars!!

Recently we had a cold front come through our little corner of Texas. Check out that thermometer reading on our patio!

We had a couple very cold days and freezing nights that had me going round the garden rescuing Monarch caterpillars and snipping milkweed for them to graze on in my Big Cube mesh cage which I have set up in one of our bathrooms.  

(Don't worry, this bathroom also has a walk in shower and we have another bathroom also, so we *have* been able to bathe ourselves!!)

Today though, the skies were clear and a peek at the outdoor thermometer told me it was much milder so I took a stroll around the garden and what did I find?  Yup - more caterpillars!!

I was amazed that they had made it through the freeze but they seemed okay and were chomping away.  I decided to let Mother Nature take care of these as I already have a total of 12 caterpillars/chrysalides indoors to keep an eye on and not much milkweed left.

While I was strolling round the garden enjoying the warm sun, I saw a Monarch butterfly float through, but didn't get a photo.  I did, however, get a photo of this little bee, enjoying the Salvia Evolution (or perhaps it's the Pineapple Sage, I got those two mixed up when I planted them all together)

Can you see him, right in the middle of the photo?  (Click on the pic to see the larger version)

Two or three days ago, I would have believed you if you told me it was the first day of winter, but today, the actual Winter Solstice and official First Day of Winter?  No -- feels like a lovely spring day!!  Only in Texas!!

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to do some weeding....

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


Dorothy Borders said...

It was a beautiful day today. I enjoyed being outside. I'm not surprised that you still have caterpillars outside. They can actually withstand quite cold weather as long as it's not inclement.

Jayne said...

Wasn't it lovely today :-) It's good to know that caterpillars can withstand a little cold. Thanks!

Pam's English Garden said...

The weather is a little different here in the Pocono Mountains of PA, Jayne. Heart warming to see your cats in winter. Merry Christmas! P. x

A Brit in Tennessee said...

Amazing !
You have created your own little Monarch butterfly sanctuary, I hope they continue to breed for years to come.
Here's hoping your Christmas was Merry and wishing you a very Happy New Year my friend !

Jayne said...

Thank you Jo. I wish you the very best for the New Year too.

Jayne said...

Thank you Pam. The first of the butterflies emerged today.