We left for the day, and before I left, I looked in on the Monarch butterfly caterpillars. They were all busy charging around the enclosure that now had wood piled up around it along the bottom to close up any open spaces. They seemed to be restless, but everyone was where they were supposed to be, so I thought nothing of it.
A big storm hit while we were gone that included high winds and blowing rain. I kept telling myself that the storm didn’t hit our area, so all would be good. I was wrong.
I got home and the screened in top was blown across the yard and sitting upside down. The rain had pummeled the plants, and there was only one caterpillar huddled at the bottom of a plant in the container.
After spending days watching these guys grow into big fat worms, I was a bit distraught. And very discouraged. I had envisioned many happy Monarch butterflies flitting about my butterfly garden.
In my glass-half-full state, I thought that at least I might get one Monarch to live, so I put the cage back over the flower pot, added the boards to the bottom, so there were no openings, and put a big board on the top to keep it from blowing away again.
It kinda made me sad. Then I went to bed.
The next morning as I was checking on my remaining caterpillar, I happened to glance at the underside of the top of the container. There hung two perfectly formed chrysalis in emerald green with a gold stripe around the top. So, I started reading everything I could to find out what happens next. Apparently, you wait.
You wait for about 14 days, and then the chrysalis turns black, then translucent so you can see wings, and then they emerge from the chrysalis and hang around until they get the wings plumped up enough to fly.
Two beautiful Monarchs flew away that day, and it wasn’t much longer before the third went through the same process. We let that one go, too.
Stay tuned for my next post ‘Things I found out while raising monarchs.’
Previous posts here: Part 1 Part 2
I want to do my part to help the Monarchs survive. This adventure has taken on a life of its own, and if you would like to take part in helping the Monarchs, then there are some tools to help you. I would have bought a cage if I hadn't had someone ready to help me, but this is one that I looked at.
I have discovered that there are many products on the market geared towards kids on caring for and nurturing butterflies. I hope you can start your own butterfly garden. Be sure to look up extra tips on how to care for Monarchs because there are many things that I do not cover here.