Thursday, August 15, 2013

A visit from a Monarch! Hurray!

 Apparently, Monarch Butterflies have had a rough year and they have been few and far between in Wisconsin. 

We grow Milkweed outside our back patio door so that we have every chance to see them. We have dear friends who purposefully grow milkweed along the side of their garage for the same purpose. They even go out and watch for recently hatched caterpillars and bring them (along with leaves) into a cage for safe keeping so they can eventually cocoon and become butterflies to help the population along. 

Today, after waiting all summer long - we finally had a visitor to our milkweed patch. Each year, this is a much waited for day - because it means that we will have a chance to watch the amazing metamorphosis.

Our little friend spent about 15 minutes with us before moving on.

 It visited the newest milkweed plant along with the big, mature plants.

 It took a rest on my begonia (which is, thankfully, recovering from the few short, very hot weeks of summer and then a major drenching.).

It visited the unknown plants in my planter on the back step.

Laying eggs! Notice the abdomen curved down below the wings at the leaf!

It even obliged us by posing prettily on the top of the fence!

 A side view.

A close up. She is actually laying an egg here, but my position doesn't allow you to see it.  I will post the egg picture after my camera battery recharges!
Bye-bye butterfly! We now await the emerging of your young so we can watch them grow into full grow caterpillars, make their chrysalis (one of the most beautiful ones out there, in my opinion) and then emerge to join you.

Edited to add in the picture of the Monarch egg. It is that whitish green dot on the leaf.

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