Soon to be Monarch

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    • #418228
      Rob Eyers
      Participant

      There has been quite a bit written about the plight of the Monarch butterfly. They only lay their eggs on the milkweed plant and the caterpillars can only eat those leaves. Milkweed is continually cut down along with other plants along the highways in Ontario leaving less habitat for them.

      We and others have begun planting milkweed in our gardens. As a result we now have Monarch eggs, caterpillars and chrysalis which require protection from predators. I’m trying to document the different stages. Catching a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis will be the next challenge.

      Egg – about the size of a pin head

      Monarch egg_sRGB-2.jpg

      Caterpillar – about 1 1/2 cm long

      Monarch caterpillar_sRGB-2.jpg

      Chrysalis – about 3 cm long

      Monarch chrysalis_sRGB.jpg

      About a week before they emerge

    • #418234
      Tersha
      Keymaster

      Great set Rob, really interesting, we don’t get Monarchs in the UK. I hope you get a butterfly emerging, I’d like to see that!

      • #418237
        Rob Eyers
        Participant

        We’ve had quite a few Monarchs in the yard this year Diane because we planted some more flowers that they’re attracted to. I haven’t taken the time to get a photo of them but it’s on my list. When these emerge they’ll be stationary for 4 hours or so as they let their wings dry. Should be some decent opportunities as we have a couple of dozen at various stages.

    • #418239
      Patrick
      Participant

      Lovely set indeed , fingers crossed with the 4 hour slot would be fantastic to see.

      Nice share Rob 😉

      • #418288
        Rob Eyers
        Participant

        Thanks @P71. The chrysalis change colour before the event takes place, so hopefully they all won’t emerge over night.

    • #418249
      Dave Watkins
      Participant

      High fives Rob!!! I’m going to guess your in Ontario Canada. Pretty amazing to think one or more of “your” butterflies will be wintering in the mountains of Mexico. Have you gotten involved in tagging yet?

      We planted our first milkweed this past spring. Two native varieties. Showy and Narrowleaf. Have never seen any Monarchs in our area but a few have been spotted about 50 miles away. Both north and south of us so we have our fingers crossed that maybe in a year or two they’ll find us.

      My wife, sister, Cider and I are going to a Western Monarch festival in Brookings Oregon on the 7th of Sept. Coincidently Brookings is having an explosion of western monarchs right now. One lady who put in a monarch waystation a couple of years ago is having to cover her milkweed in nets to keep any more monarchs laying eggs. She’s worried there won’t be enough plant material to feed the cats. More reports of monarchs “egg dumping” at other locations around Brookings as well.

      Sorry for the long post. Got a bit carried away. Looking forward to seeing more of your monarchs.

      • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by Dave Watkins.
      • #418289
        Rob Eyers
        Participant

        Thanks Dave. Yes I’m in the most southerly part of Ontario. Thanks for the additional info…very interesting.

    • #418261
      Tom M
      Participant

      I have a woman in our camera club who has spent the last 2+ years photographing monarch butterflies in every stage of their development. She is almost obsessed with them. She still enters photos in our different contests we currently have. She also planted a lot of milkweed on her property too. I love the color of the chrysalis, the green with tinges of gold…

       

      • #418290
        Rob Eyers
        Participant

        I can see how one could get obsessed with raising these Tom. It’s a relatively short process (about 4 weeks) from egg to butterfly so there’s always some progress to watch. If one hasn’t become involved I admit that it might seem a little crazy. It’s a good way to practice with my new macro lens though.

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