From Florida, With Love
Juni's 3!

Monarch Mama

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It all started with an innocent Facebook conversation with my earliest childhood friend Kathy...

...who wanted to know if I might like to try my hand at raising monarch butterflies like she has been doing the past few summers.

 

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"Sure!" I said.

And it was all over when she brought me this little guy, who was about 1/4" long....

 

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...and 5 leaves with monarch eggs on them.

 


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And from that moment I was hooked.

My little fella began to munch on the milkweed leaves I gave him...




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And my eggs turned black on top....

 


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...and hatched into the teeny-tiniest little caterpillars you've ever seen...in fact, they are difficult for me to see with the naked eye!

 

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A few times as he grew, my little cat wiggled and shed his outgrown skin....and then ate it!

 


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Room to grow bigger!  And a new baby cat on the other leaf...

 

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Two weeks after Kathy brought him to my house, the caterpillar was finished growing and crawled to the top of his enclosure and began his final performance as a caterpillar.

 


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He hung in this "J" shape for about 12 hours or so...

 


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...and then as Kim and I were eating supper one evening he quietly turned himself inside out and became a chrysalis.

That was 11 days ago.  Inside that chrysalis, an amazing transformation is happening and we're awaiting his grand reappearance.

 

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Meanwhile, the other caterpillars are munching and growing themselves.

 


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And my small plastic tote operation has grown into an entire corner of my kitchen countertop with a bonafide butterfly habitat.

As I'm typing this, I have 56 caterpillars of various sizes and stages and a total of 8 chrysalises.  Plus a few more eggs in the nursery.

Oh, and my daughter Emily passed on to me that clear box filled with 5 mature chrysalises to release, given to her by an acquaintance.  

 


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A few days later, I got a taste of the monarch thrill as they emerged (2 boys on the left and one girl)...

 

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...and just yesterday I saw them flitting around my wildflower patch.

So gorgeous!!!

 

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My first of many monarch releases...  So. COOL!!!

I'm definitely hooked.  Kim calls me the Milkweed Maniac, but I like to think of myself as more of a ...

....monarch mama.

 

 

Comments

Kamaron Gray

We're going to do it next year! So neat!

Peggy

Amazing habitat or should I say habit you have! I am in awe of the whole process, every detail that God planned perfectly. The beads of gold on the chrysalis are so beautiful. Thanks for sharing 🐛🦋💕

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