Of course, a few weeks back, my milkweed plants were teaming with monarch larvae:
Eventually, they got big and fat:
And then they proceeded to trek away from the milkweed to find a place to pupate (build their chrysalis). We found them cruising in the very far reaches of our yard. Incredible.
But I was especially astounded when I went to give my Lady Scarecrow a spring makeover (her clothes are so Spring 2013), and as I was stripping her down, I found this!:
I proceeded to check on it everyday. For about a week, it looked just the same, and then suddenly, one day, it looked like this:
I knew it must be close, so I started checking on it about once an hour, like a maniac. When it didn’t hatch that day, I knew that probably as soon as it was warm the next morning, the game was on.
The next morning, it looked very similar, but those pretty golden accents had all but disappeared, and the shell of the chrysalis was so very transparent, it was crazy!
And lo and behold, we missed it emerging! 😦
I was so upset that I missed it, that I swore I was going to sit there and watch it until it took its first flight. So I sat and watched.
Until finally…it really began to stretch its wings in the sunshine.
They say that it takes about an hour before a monarch is ready to take flight, but the white dog and I waited two and a half hours for this little guy.
And then–just like that–he was off!
And then we were super tired so we had to rest on a nearby rose bush:
After a bit of a rest, he flitted to a few different resting spots in the yard, and then he was off, tumbling and flying with the other monarchs that had been playing in the garden that day.
Magic. Complete and utter magic.
Tagged: chrysalis, chrysalis progression, female monarch, male monarch, milkweed, monarch, monarch butterfly, monarch chrysalis, monarch chrysalis images, monarch chrysalis progression, monarch first flight, monarch hatch, monarch larvae, monarch pupa, monarchs in the garden, monarchs in the wild, save the monarchs, sex of monarch butterfly, white boxer, white dog