New Chrysalis Spotted

gardening

I was cleaning the house the other day when my son came looking for me. He said he had something to show me. He pulls out his camera and lets me see the photo he has just taken. A new chrysalis has been found!

For those who have been keeping up with my blogs, remember what happened to the last chrysalis . I was hoping to spot a new chrysalis, however, I had not had the fortune of locating any. Thanks to my son and his keen eye, we are now watching another chrysalis with the hopes of seeing the emergence of a Monarch butterfly.

This chrysalis has attached itself to the wire cage around the plant that was next to the milkweed that the caterpillars were eating. My son came across it when he was taking pictures of the flowers nearby. I guess the caterpillar didn’t want to venture too far.

I am hoping that the next blog on this subject will feature a butterfly picture as well. I am keeping my fingers crossed. I will keep you posted.

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Chrysalis Crisis

gardening

Last week, I published the happy, exciting news of caterpillar sightings in our garden. I even found a chrysalis on the side of our house. I had never spotted a chrysalis before. How exciting!

The very next morning, I checked on the chrysalis. Everything looked the same. I was intending to check the chrysalis frequently, as I did not want to miss out on the butterfly as it was developing and breaking free to fly away. My son and I left the house for a few hours and when we returned I decided I should take a picture of the chrysalis. This I decided to do every day so that I would have a record of the butterflies emergence.

As I went outside, I noticed first the side of the house had been splattered with something. Then I looked at the chrysalis. Only the top part of it remained. At first, I thought it hatched while we were out. Then I realized it should have changed first to a dark color and then to a clear encasement. It was too soon in the process to have fully developed. Something had gone wrong. Had something gotten a hold of the chrysalis before the caterpillar had time to complete the process?

We will never know exactly what happened to the chrysalis. Unfortunately, things like this happen in nature all the time. It is hard for animals to survive in the wild. Predators, weather, lack of food, all sorts of things put animals at risk. My poor little Monarch.

There are still caterpillars on our plants. Perhaps I will be lucky enough to find another chrysalis in the yard and hope to see that one turn into a beautiful Monarch butterfly. I wish them all good luck.

Monarch Butterflies Come to the Garden

gardening
caterpillar eating milkweed

It is a sunny July day in So Cal and we have spotted caterpillars on one of our plants. These are not the brown fuzzy caterpillars I enjoyed watching as a child. These caterpillars are stripped yellow, white, and black and will turn into Monarch Butterflies.

chrysalis

The caterpillars are busily eating away at the milkweed on our plants. However, I spotted another interesting little something on my way in the front door. Attached to the side of the house is a chrysalis. That means we have a butterfly forming inside this chrysalis. The caterpillars crawl away from the plant when it is time to form the chrysalis in a safe environment. According to research, the butterfly is developing inside the chrysalis for 9 to 14 days. Since I do not know how long this chrysalis has been there, I will have to keep an eye on it’s development. How exciting!

our butterfly plant

There are a few Monarchs fluttering about the garden now. It is nice to know that soon there will be more. As with the birds in our garden, if you give them what they need they will come.