Wednesday, September 05, 2018


A day after my last post, I went to check the butterfly habitat and was startled to find... A MONARCH BUTTERFLY! It must have been newly hatched, as it was gently waving its wings to dry them. My source said it would take 4 to 9 days for the chrysalis to hatch, and I believe this one took the full nine days.

Taking photos was a bit awkward. I tried to catch one with the wings outstretched but the shutter delay was never timed right. I helped it out of the enclosure - its feet feel sticky - and it flew away (while I chased Finn the indoor-outdoor cat away).

When the caterpillar sheds its skin as it grows, it eats it. However, the shell of the chrysalis is left behind.

Raising butterflies is not quite as simple as it seems. For the habitat I have, I would like a branching structure that reaches from top to bottom, so the caterpillars can climb, and with platforms (or something) for holding fresh milkweed leaves. Even a small tree branch would do, I think. I'll have to ponder that for next year.

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