Soon after the milkweed was planted, teeny tiny monarch caterpillars began to take it over. Contrary to my beliefs, we didn't have to purchase the larvae or eggs or anything - they were very proficient at finding the plants naturally and proliferating. It didn't take long for the young plants to be eaten all the way to the nubs, and those tiny caterpillars gave us a whole new understanding of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. We grabbed a few and stuck them in the terrarium to see what would happen next.
Within days, the caterpillars found their way up to the top of their temporary home and attached themselves to the lid with a silky web. They hung out upside down for about a day and then magically transformed into chrysalises.
|courtesy of http://lifecycle.onenessbecomesus.com|
|phases of chrysalises - about to hatch out of it's shell, a newly formed one and one that recently became a butterfly|
We now have monarch butterflies all over the farm and have learned a lot about their evolution and lifecycle, as well as their amazing migration. One last shot of Jeremy hanging out with one of the little guys: