Part 2 of our Monarch Rearing Journey

Posted by John Cohrac on

Welcome back, pull up a chair and we will continue with Part 2 of our Butterfly Adventures. 

Butterfly Valentine Pendant

We left off our tale wondering why we still in July have not seen any Monarchs and what did we do wrong.  I mean how hard can it be to attrack some butterflies to a flower garden?  At least we had our swalow tails nestled in their Chrysalis and soon we we have 5 butterfies. 

Yet still nothing, not a sighting, not an egg, no caterpilars.  Even the ones I ordered had not arrive yet.  What are we cursed?  Are we doomed to be Monarch periahs?   Did we get the wrong Milkweed?  Did the darn Cardinals scare them away?   Then all of a sudden, I actully found what I thought was an egg.  At least this time I was going to look it up and get some pictures to compare it to.  Sure enough we had our perfect little football shapped egg with the all the signs it was truly a Monarch Egg.  

Oh yeah I took more pictures of this egg than I did for a newborn baby.  I showed it to everyone.  Look we did it I screamed we have an Egg!  Oh by golly there must be more, how could there not be I mean they lay like a zillion eggs dont they?  Now I truly was on a mission.  I spend the rest of the daylight and even a little time with a flashlight checking every single leaf and every single stalk and every single flower on the milkweed.  With every moment I was more and more excited, I was counting them and planning this great Monarch Family!  But still where did it come from?  Is there a Monarch Fairy?  I mean still not one sighting of an actual butterfly.  That would soon change.  By the next day you could turn one way or the other and not at lesat catch a monarch flying around.  Mind you it was probably the same one every time, but who cares.  VICTORY we did it we attracked Monarchs to our Garden!

Did that make me relax?  Nope not a chance, now I am following this butterfly around every day with my Iphone like Im some great nature Photagrapher.  Close ups, action shots.  Still Shots, every kind of photo you can imagine. I mean can you believe it we have Monarchs!

In a few short days, I was counting caterpillars and Eggs,   Draping netting over the plants, building all kinds of contraptions to keep predators away from our beautiful black yellow and white worms.  How exciting, and then after we realized we had 80 or more caterpillars, the Postman rang, only once.  He never rings twice!   What did he deliver but 10 Caterpillars, which relt really silly now since we had so many already.

They grow fast mid you and before you knew it we had almost 80 4 and 5 instars roaming our plants.  They made it we did it and what a number ohh soon we would have Butterflies everywhere!

Rainbow Monarch Earrings

But alas, tragedy was about to strike.  I mean these caterpillars went bonkers,  they started throwing themselves off the plants and dying.  I mean what the heck?   The birds didnt get them, we looked up about the illness and parasits and saw no sign of that.  What the heck was going on.  We moved them off those plants and moved them into a makeshift enclosure as that is what we saw everyone

doing on line. I mean they had thousands of Butterflies we might as well try it.  

Then finally we found 3 or 4 Chrysalis hanging all around the yard, at least a few had made it to their next stage.   Alas we must be cursed bucase that too became a failure.  A nasty thuderstorm stuck and when it was over and we went to check on our little family we found not one single crysalis made it through the storm.   I mean did someone forget to tell our caterpillars how to find good shelter for their chrysalis?

Midnight Monarch

Well at least we still had 15 or so that survived, thats not terrible right?  And I guess we don’t smell since the Butterflies stayed around too. 

Tune in Tomorrow as I continue our tail and how we came to be know as the Butterfly People in our Neighborhood.


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