Monday, October 5, 2009

Monarch Butterfly - A Birth Day

This morning - flashlight in hand - I checked on my cocoon to see if there was any change. Didn't look any different than it had from the night before. I knew we had to be getting close. Today makes 3 weeks of being cocooned. Unfortunately, I had to work today.

But, fortunately - my husband only worked a half day. He came home a little after 2:00 to the following sight ---

The Monarch had hatched and he'd missed capturing it probably by minutes.
Why the caterpillar chose to nest on the underside of the carport I'll never know. The poor butterfly had trouble keeping a grip and finally fell to the gravel below.
Knowing that the butterfly shouldn't be touched - my husband used a stick for the butterfly to crawl onto so he could move him to a safer location.
The trellis on the fence was the perfect spot - full sunshine and far enough off the ground for the butterfly to be comfortable.
Sunning - trying to get blood flow into wings and get warm enough to fly.

It's a boy! Notice the black dots on the lower set of wings. Males have them - females don't.

About 4:15, after climbing higher on the trellis - the Monarch took off in flight and went next door to the neighbors tree.

All that is left of our winged little friend....

Happy Birthday Monarch Butterfly. Safe travels.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Monarch Caterpillar - Patience

As you can see we STILL haven't birthed a butterfly. This picture was taken yesterday. The cocoon is looking black - due to the black wings and body of the butterfly.

I was thinking it'd be a few days ago. I've done more researching and it looks like I was just getting antsy. The cocoon has to be completely clear. Yesterday it was close. Today it looks like it is. I have been taking pictures throughout the day because the cocoon keeps changing.
This morning the cocoon was completely clear.

After a few hours - late morning I noticed a creasing in one of the "seams".

Just a bit ago I noticed creasing in the seam above this one. It's almost 1 in the afternoon. Today would be a perfect day for a butterfly birth - as I'll be home the rest of the day to watch and capture some images.

I don't believe I'll get anything done today other than looking out the back window.