Top of the morning folks! I have not been very loquacious on my blog lately. I haven’t had much to say, in which case, I’d rather say nothing just spew garbage words just to write.
Aurora and I have been preoccupied with taking care of about 20 monarchs that we have collected in the past 10 days and now have 7 chrysalides, with one forming as I write this! This has been such an exciting experience for Aurora and me to witness and this is something I wish to do every year from here on out! To witness a chrysalis forming, is to witness something magical and bigger than ourselves. Our experience this year will help us better to save monarchs next year!
Yesterday morning, Aurora and I took a walk way up the road to check for monarch caterpillers and found quite a few. We have 18 or 19…I think a couple may have been double counted or hiding but I counted at least 18 just now.
We have already cleaned the caterpillar box twice today. Those little critters poop a LOT!
Here are some of them right after we got home with them yesterday morning. I hadn’t realized that we got so many, and from only a few plants too!
Here’s several of them that climbed up to the cover and stayed over night. I took them off so they could find their food.
Aurora decorated a little yesterday and this monarch baby climbed right over to it and has been there since. This one shall be named Picasso since it is on the artwork. I think Picasso msy be ready to cocoon soon! I tacked sewing pins around for the babies to attach to.
Here are the babies this morning after feeding and cleaning time. Note the various instar stages.
The caterpillar at the top of this pic climbed up there over the night and is still there, and the one on the paper plate below climbed up there this afternoon. I have a feeling these 2 are getting ready to cocoon as well.
We have really enjoyed observing these beautiful creatures. I am thankful for the opportunity to help them and give them shelter from predators so that they may be able to have a decent chance to make it to butterfly. We may not be able to remove their predators, but we can remove them from the danger the best we can. We need to feed them and keep the box clean and they should be ok. We don’t even have a cover over the box so that goes to show they don’t stray far from their food. I have ideas for a monarch motel for next year, when we have more time to prepare. This was kind of impulsive that we rescued these guys but we have food nearby to provide for them daily. Next year I would like to have some potted milkweed that we can bring in to monitor for predators and bring outside when they are ready to fly.