I'm told that only about 5% monarch eggs become butterflies, and the rest perish. Even milkweeds are trying to kill the caterpillars with sticky latex sap and toxins!
I've checked out Anurag Agrawal's "Monarchs and Milkweed: A Migrating Butterfly, a Poisonous Plant, and Their Remarkable Story of Coevolution" from the library. It's all very thrilling.
I also moved the last caterpillar I found to a glass jar. It turned into a chrysalis the other day.
Stay tuned for further updates!
... and it had flown away by the time I got home after work. I didn't get to see the butterfly emerging from its chrysalis.
Damn Thursday late afternoon group meetings. Damn rush hour traffic.
Today's monarch news: a caterpillar has escaped its indoor makeshift cage, and is now hanging onto a door jamb, and is very unwilling to budge.
The one in neighbor-donated cage is now a chrysalis.
An ill-looking one I brought inside has died. It wasn't eating anything.
This evening I brought two more very tiny caterpillars inside.
Monarch #11 of 11, a boy, emerged from his chrysalis the same day as monarch #10, but wasn't quite ready to leave until this morning.
Astute readers may note that he left on Día de la Independencia, and she left on El Grito de Dolores.
I hope the last few monarchs will make it all the way to their overwintering grounds in Mexico, and will serve as our ambassadors there.
Feliz viaje, our little winged friends!
At some point some kind of bar fight equivalent of monarch world broke out, and resolved itself faster than I could focus my reasonably fast focusing lens.
I really suck in this photojournalist profession.
I should not send myself to a war front as a photojournalist. I would fare much worse than Robert Capa.
The last monarch pictures I managed to take this year are from September 20 and 23, respectively. They must be on their way to their wintering grounds to Mexico, if they are already not there.
Fun monarch fact: monarchs can't (or don't?) fly when temperature is below 55 °C. Right now we're at 10 °C.
See you next year, little winged friends!
Whoops, made a typo! Meant 55 °F/13 °C, typed 55 °C.
Thanks to @fitheach for spotting it.
@sajith bummer! I'm just seeing your whole monarch thread now and it is really cool!
@dthompson Be sure to raise some milkweeds next year! Once the monarchs choose to lay eggs on your milkweeds, it gets super exciting.
@sajith I'm trying to grow some but so far only have one that is doing well. hopefully that number will increase.
@dthompson I hope so too!
Last year no monarchs were around, and then we removed some juniper pines from that area and then this happened.
These folks have good reviews in Amazon, if I remember correctly, but I have no direct experience:
I am planning to collect some seeds from the existing plants, and get some of those seeds, and grow milkweeds and zinnias in all possible corners next year. This is way better than grass and "regular" weeds. :-)
@sajith I've been collecting seed pods. my step daughter even collected seed pods for me that she found at school.
@dthompson One "problem" we've had (which is not really a problem, just business as usual for nature) was disappearing caterpillars -- some of them were eaten by tachinid larvae etc. I have no idea what happened to the rest.
This one in the jar is the sole survivor as far as I can tell, and that was probably because I brought the caterpillar inside and kept it in a jar with some milkweed leaves.
Can't believe I'm giving advice on raising monarchs after half a summer with a few of them. :-)
@fitheach Yes, sorry! Meant to say 55°F.
@sajith photoshop yo
@olyx I 💖 GNU Image Manipulation Program
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