Worry is like a rocking chair, it's gives you something to do but gets you nowhere!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

And Now We Wait For Butterflies!

I have been watching my Monarch Caterpillars..Here's what I have seen so far. All of these photos were taken in the last 24 hours. PLEASE--click to enlarge these!

From the time a Monarch Butterfly lays an egg on the host plant, Milkweed, it takes 10-14 days before the Caterpillar starts looking for the perfect spot to spin White "Silken Thread."
These Caterpillars crawled all around this Butterfly Cage for hours before finding the perfect spot. Can you see the 'Silken Thread'? (The one Chrysalis you see hanging formed yesterday from the photo I posted)

After spinning the thread into a little pile-it turns around and attaches it's rear to the Silken "Pile". Two by two it's feet detach and swings into the "J" position.
Third Stage- Pupa--Greek word means "doll". Which denotes a sleeping baby wrapped in swaddling clothes. More common term Chrysalis. 12 - 24 hours after the "J" position--changes slightly in color to bluish green and the antennae become limp. The caterpillar becomes limp and straightens. You can see the caterpillar move and expand inside of the skin. His skin splits on the back from the bottom and a shiny green Chrysalis is unveiled. The skin shrivels to the top. You can watch the Chrysalis dance and shake until the skin on top falls off. The black stuff on top is the skin. It was moving in this photo.

The shiny green Chrysalis with yellow bands changes appearance over the first hour or two. Shape will also change slightly. Yellow bands disappear and becomes a soft green color.
The Chrysalis hardens with gold dots and a beautiful golden "necklace" decorate it. The Chrysalis is a little easier to see in the first and second photos. In the next 9 -14 days I will post the next stages!!
Just for fun this morning....anyone remember making these?

24 comments:

Frances said...

Oh Darla, this is too wonderful! I have never witnessed this metamorphosis in real life. Watching it on your blog posts will be as good as being there! Thanks!
Frances

tina said...

I like your step by step explanation. It sure helps paint a picture. Yup, I remember making tye dyed shirts and bandanas and what not. Oh for the 70s!

Becca's Dirt said...

Wow Darla - I love the description of the changes taking place with the butterfly. Thanks for sharing and I can't wait to see them open up. Yes I remember the tie dye shirt. Fun to see the results.

Twisted Fencepost said...

GREAT POST, DARLA!
I love seeing the changes and the narrarative you added with it. I can't wait till it's a butterfly!
And yes, I remember making those. A campground that we go to in Charleston, SC makes these with the campers every year.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Darla: What a neat way to observe nature.

Lois said...

That is so cool Darla! Yes my grandson is enjoying school and we have so much fun in the mornings eating breakfast together and riding to school. I can't wait to retire in a few more years so I can pick him up in the afternoons too. By then my granddaughter will be in school.

Abraham Lincoln said...

Beautiful and quite interesting pictures of the monarchs. It is a kind of miracle process.

Thanks for visiting my Pick a Peck of Pixels Blog and for your comment on the Baby Kitty post.

George said...

What a wonderful sequence of photos. Thanks for the information that came along with them. I can hardly wait to see the next series.

bennie and patsy said...

Butterfly'are wonderful. Thanks for the great post. The grapefruits are looking good.
Patsy

Grace Peterson said...

Wow Darla~~ To get up close and personal with such elusive creatures is a real treat. Despite a good-sized pink milkweed plant in my garden, I'm unable to attract the them. I've read that they're not indigenous to this area so that could explain it, duh. :] I look forward to seeing the crowning jewel.

Two of my Celosia plants are as tall as I am -- Five feet! Fabulous plants.

Bill S. said...

Great post about the development of the butterfly. Thanks.

Dorothy said...

Thanks for posting this, Darla! Very interesting!

Susie said...

I don't remember making tie dye, just wearing them.

I love seeing your caterpillars Darla. That is entertaining.

Susie said...

I don't remember making tie dye, just wearing them.

I love seeing your caterpillars Darla. That is entertaining.

Leedra said...

Nope, Mommy I didn't make that mess, Sissy did it. :(

I bet it is great fun watching the Monarchs develop.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Oh My Gosh Darla.... We tied-died when my sons were little. Is that coming back????? It was so popular for awhile.

Thanks for your step by step lessons about the caterpillars/butterflies. I haven't seen this in many years.. It's so much fun to watch. Thanks!!

Hugs,
Betsy

Valerie said...

Those butterflies are amazing or should I say caterpillars? And yes I do remember those shirts. Did the girls do those?

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

That is so cool. I've only seen the Painted Ladies go through this metamorphosis. The Monarchs even have a pretty chrysalis.

Tootsie said...

love the shirts!!! now ...those are some busy caterpillars...they sure do work fast!

Gail said...

Thank you Darla~~we don't get monarchs here and I have longed to see them make their metamorphosis from egg...I love the photos!

...and yes I remember making tie-dye T-shirts and getting into trouble with my best friend's mom for making a mess in her laundry room!

gail

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Darla, how exciting to watch the butterfly story unfold. That is a really neat cage.

I never made tie dyed clothes but maybe I should try it now. I have a couple shirts with paint (or other) stains I could cover up;)
Marnie

flowergardengirl said...

Thank and I am loving this transformation. I've never done it in my house. I wonder if I can find a caterpillar today?? It's raining cats and dogs but we need it. I'll go on a hunt if the weather stops a bit.

You are precious and I love listening to you tell about this. I can hear the excitement in your voice or even better--the tender caring nature you have.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gi said...

It is amazing and beautiful flower shared and lovely garden also so that can know that used in this site. So amazing and creative also.

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