Mighty Monarchs

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I read many articles this year on the decline of the Mighty Monarch.

We knew they were true, as we hadn't seen a single Monarch in May, June...or most of July.
We have grown very accustomed to raising these little friends 
each and every summer for the last several years.

That didn't stop us from checking, checking checking or backyard gardens for any signs...

an EGG!
(you have to look VERY hard...to see the white dot in the middle of the leaf...)

When it emerges...it's teeny tiny...
This one here might be a couple of days old already - see him along the QU of the 
Quarter Dollar wording on the quarter?

Doesn't take long though - as they eat their way through the milkweed and grow ~ 
up to 100x their original size!

After they are done growing, the cat brings itself somewhere & hangs out, 
literally, in a 'J' shape...

Like so...

And then,after hanging in the 'J' for a day or two...

An amazing crazy transformation happens...

Green Crysallides hang out doing their thing for about ten or so days, give or take...
And when they turn 'black' ~

Then you know you'll have a Monarch hatching within hours ~ 

And it's not really 'black' ~ 
it's actually clear, and what you are seeing, is the Monarch's body inside the chrysallis!

Pictures taken on the Verizon Incredible 4G cell phone!
It's AMAZING how far technology has come, no?

a Monarch emerges!

It takes a few hours to flap their wings, dry them up, dry them out...

And then we set them free in our backyard!

Can you see them all?
Dwindling Monarch population be damned!
We're doing our best to help out!

We love love love raising Monarchs every year, and are so glad that while this season started late, we seem to have rebounded!

And NEW this year in Gust Gardens...
Our girl found this little fella...

I recognized this as a swallowtail cat...but we were unsure of what kind of Swallowtail.

Thankfully, within hour of us bringing him inside, 
he formed his chrysallis...
We didn't know exactly what we would feed him...

And when he emerged?

He was a most beautiful Butterfly!

There are so many things we do as a family...fleeting events, outings, things...

I hope that this is one of those things that my kids will always remember that we did together.

All photos & video in this blog post were taken with my Verizon Incredible 4G ~
I'm amazed at the powerful images that a person can capture with a simple cell phone.
What did we do before the 'simplicity' of camera phones?
No film to buy, put in, get developed...
Just pull the phone out of the pocket and viola!
Memories Captured Forever!

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Anonymous said...

Hi Darc,

We bought one at a festival this summer and it was fun to watch. We let it go in early July - Owen thought it was pretty neat. I think I got a kick out of it more than anyone - God is amazing! :-)

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