On August 5th, I spied this magnificent monarch butterfly on the milkweed in my garden.
When I planted this milkweed earlier this spring, I had assumed that I wouldn’t see any monarchs until next year during their main spring migration. But lo and behold, look what I found after she left.
Eggs! She was laying eggs on my milkweed!!
I immediately brought in the few eggs I could find since we have a serious predator problem in the yard (I’ve already lost four swallowtail larvae to wasps and praying mantis).
To start with I simply brought in the eggs and a few leaves and placed them in a plastic storage container on top of a slightly damp paper towel. Then four days later, the eggs hatched and produced the tiniest little caterpillars you have ever seen.
And since then, they have been eating (and pooping <<<ewwww>>>) and growing. In just five days they have probably tripled in size!
As they’ve gotten bigger and eat more and more leaves, I needed a way to bring bigger clippings of milkweed in, so I asked the interwebs about it and they told me to buy this cool tube kit from Amazon.
Please. I know. Don’t say it.
Anyway, now my ‘cats’ have lots of milkweed to munch on and it will be easy for me to keep it fresh for them.
You know…doesn’t everyone prefer fresh greens?
All joking aside though, this process is utterly amazing. It is a delight and a joy to be able to provide a safe place for them while they grow and hopefully make it to the next stage of their life cycle.
As always, thank you for letting me share these special creatures with you.