Need to mark this in the gardening journal (that’s what this blog is!). Today, May 18 at about 11am I saw our first real monarch activity around the crown flower. It’s been months we haven’t had much, and today I rescued 6 itty bitty caterpillars and put them in the IKEA mesh hamper for safety from birds until they decide to leave and make their chrysalis.
Awhile back I posted that a new species of butterfly had found us. The Gulf Fritillary butterfly first appeared on our dining room light at dinner, then we saw the spiky caterpillar in our yard and then discovered a (strange!) chrysalis hanging on the shed.
About 2 weeks ago another spiky caterpillar appeared and we put it in the “hatchery” to see if it would form a chrysalis and it did! This morning, it hatched. It’s so tiny compared to the monarch! But I love the wing patterns and it liked the flowers. 🙂
See another bloggers comments on this butterfly in Hawaii here: http://hawaiinaturejournal.weebly.com/hawaii-plants-and-animals-in-the-backyard-and-beyond/butterfly-kisses
Two butterflies hatched this morning while I was drinking my coffee. It is always amazing to watch, no matter how many times we have seen this now. But my baby was equally as fascinated, so we took the jar outside and watched them dry their wings and then eventually fly away. But one sat on my hand for the longest time, flapping and gaining her strength before circling the yard and going off.
Just a few moments after these two had gone, I checked the crownflower plant for new caterpillars and found two good sized ones, which have now been placed in our new “Ritz for Caterpillars” IKEA hamper. 😀 This new way of rescuing them, rather than jars, lets us get more at a time and also to get them smaller. In jars, you must keep putting fresh leaves in each day, which can get rather full and stinky. In the mesh hamper, I get a large branch, stuck it in a jar of water for freshness and this will probably last the entire time they are growing.
It’s such an odd hobby this has become for me, but it’s really amazing and reminds me of the miracles of our Universe. ❤
This gallery contains 6 photos