Monarch Magic – the birth of a butterfly in your yard

Monarch Magic – Day 1


Mar 22 – 33 monarch caterpillars invade our milkweed!

The caterpillars of the monarch butterfly consuming milkweed. Over 33 were in the garden.
Photo: Molly O’Connor

I am lucky enough to have a cool gardener in my family… my wife. She has converted our front yard into a place that butterflies and birds love to visit. The magic of the monarch is something we all get see every year.


Just recently she planted some milkweed (the host plant for the monarch caterpillar) in the front garden and it was quickly consumed by 33 monarch caterpillars. Finding more milkweed to keep all happy has been challenging.


After they consumed all the leaves, the large fat caterpillars began to leave to seek a hiding place to complete their cycle. They usually seek something they can hide beneath, large leaves of trees, but structures around the house will work as well. Frequently they find the banister of our front steps as a good spot.


Mar 24 – caterpillars have cleaned all leaves and now looking for hiding spots

Plump caterpillars headout looking for a good hiding place.
One caterpillar chooses the railing on our front porch.










Today, one of those plump guys made it to our front porch and by late afternoon had worked its way beneath the railing, attached by its rear end, and began to curl into the “J” position to begin forming the chrysalis.

Having selected a spot, this caterpillar begins the form the “J” to begin forming the chrysalis.












Chrysalis formed over night.

Mar 25 – the chrysalis is formed

Mar 26 – found a 2nd chrysalis one rocking chair. Keep looking, you may find some!



Mar 30 – chrysalis #1 has not changed much. Chrysalis #2 has a darkened area where you can see the butterfly forming. Hopefully something cool by the end of the week.

Chrysalis #1
Chrysalis #2

Posted: March 25, 2020

Category: , Coasts & Marine, Natural Resources
Tags: Monarch Butterfly Development

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