My boys and I were very excited to find some monarch caterpillars this month in the flower bed. The summer we moved onto the farm we found some and they loved watching them change into a butterfly. Last summer we missed them, so we were so glad to be able to do it again this time around. And I love taking pictures of them in the stages they go through.
Beware of a picture overload here… but it’s so hard to not include pictures!!! I would add more, but think this covers the basics.
‘Mom, we found another caterpillar’!! If you live in an area with Milkweed, you can find your own caterpillars too. Milkweed is all a caterpillar will eat, and it is where the Monarch Butterfly lays her eggs.
I think the most we had in the jar was 10.
Watching… this is a great science/school project!! My boys are learning and they don’t even know it.
When I see they are getting big and fat, I put them in a regular jar with a lid. They like to hang in the highest spot they can go, so the lid is where they will go. Although I have had a few attach themselves to the side of the jar.
They will hang upside down a day or two, and then they shed their skin.
I was determined to watch this time, as 2 yrs ago, I missed every one. This is a very fast process, taking 5 minutes or so.
You can see the green showing through his skin, this was just minutes before his skin ‘popped’.
Watching the process. They were quite impressed!!
Wiggling and wiggling!!! They have to work themselves into this tiny chrysalis.
The one on the left is the way they look when totally done. The one on the right is about half way there.
About a week later, you can see the butterfly. The chrysalis changes from green to clear.
And no, I haven’t seen a butterfly ‘hatch’!!! I was so disappointed, but life happens. I don’t always have hours in a day to sit and wait and watch for these things to come out. I’m guessing it happens about as fast as when they go into the chrysalis. They hang for a while, drying and letting their wings harden and fill with fluid.
Just before they are ready to take flight, is the perfect time for lots of pictures!!
Letting them walk up your arm is about all you can handle. 2 years ago, Collin declared the butterfly was biting him, when really it just plain tickles like crazy!!!
Photo by my sis-Linda. It’s also fun to get good pictures right after you put them out on a flower. It’s all so new, and they hang on in the wind for a while.