Finding a Place for Metamorphosis

I spotted this Monarch caterpillar crawling on a large clay pot.  It was far from the Butterfly Weed, so I thought I would keep an eye on it.

The caterpillar climbed up to the rim and attached itself.  Look closely for the nearly invisible thread.

For some reason that did not seem right, so the caterpillar dropped to the ground.

It crawled around for quite awhile and headed up a stick for a better view.

Finally, it settled for this plastic net that is protecting a plant. And yes, I did spend quite a long time watching this caterpillar crawl around.  It is their habit to leave the plant they feed on and form a chrysalis elsewhere and are usually hard to find.

And in no time the caterpillar was in its chrysalis.  Sadly, I missed the process and when I checked hours later, it was done.

About the time it should have hatched, a beautiful Monarch Butterfly was  hanging on a nearby brick wall drying its wings and the chrysalis was gone.

And the circle of life begins again with a female Monarch depositing her eggs. I like to think it was the same one that hatched, but there is no way to tell.  She checked out all the plants and made sure the eggs were laid only on Butterfly Weed.

Apparently other Monarchs had stopped by and on the same day, I found a tiny caterpillar barely a half of an inch long  starting on its journey.

This year has already started well for the butterfly population in my area and many more have been stopping by than in past few years.


20 Comments on “Finding a Place for Metamorphosis”

  1. FlowerAlley says:

    I loved this. I would have stayed and watched it, too. What a wonderful post Thanks.

  2. Christina says:

    Great post. Thanks for sharing the journey.

  3. Tina says:

    A terrific series of shots–great captures. It’s always dumb luck (for me, anyhow) to capture the moments of the butterfly’s emergence. Timing is everything, I guess. 🙂

  4. Chloris says:

    Wonderful butterfly story. These monarchs are exquisite, I wish we had them here.

  5. shoreacres says:

    What a wonderful series. I’ve never even found a chrysalis, but I keep looking. I did find four species of milkweed over the weekend, so I’m looking in the right neighborhood.

  6. Deb says:

    So enjoyed seeing this again, it has been awhile since I have watch this process.

  7. Amazing photos of a fantastic journey, I found one in my dining room (caterpillar) put it outside, never to be seen again.

  8. I adored this. I would have stayed and watched it, as well. What an awesome post Thanks…

  9. excellence says:

    I loved this.What a wonderful post Thanks.

  10. Sheryl says:

    Wow, it’s incredible how you were able to capture the entire life cycle of the Monarch.

  11. I applaud your patience, though I know you dont seek it. Watching and discovering was the reward

  12. What a beautiful post. Ah, the circle of life.


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