Friday, October 3, 2014

Metamorphasis




There's been some excitement lately in the flower bed in front of the house. 
A butterfly milkweed plant was host to some bugs with striped pajamas, 
specifically the kind that turn into monarch butterflies. 
With their voracious appetites, they ate the plant right down to the stems. 




When they were quite full, 
they wandered off in search of a perfect place to spin a cocoon.




The little things looked quite helpless, flailing away at the edge of a stem, 
before turning back to find a better place.




Ahhh...  This might do.




On the day most of them moved off to find a sheltering place for their cocoon, the skies opened and rain fell in torrents. In the past, we've had less than desirable results with cocoons and moisture, so Don stretched a rope from a couple of places on the front of the house to the light pole, and draped a camouflage tarp over it, to serve as a tent for the small creatures. It looked like something right out of Duck Dynasty, but it worked. If there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's that one should never underestimate a good man with rope and a camouflage tarp. The hummingbirds were happy with the arrangement, too, and quickly took to their new perches.




One by one, the caterpillars found their places.  
Most of them attached to a stem or the underside of a leaf, 
but there was one on the light pole, one on the side of the birdbath, 
and one on the overhang above the garage door.  
They hung there limp and lifeless...


Monarch cocoon in progress


...until, awakened by some inner compulsion, they wiggled into a soft green cocoon.




Over the next few days, their metamorphosis continued.




Monarch cocoon



Stay tuned...


For the emergence, click here.




Linking with Saturday's Critters


18 comments:

Felicia said...

Accccckkkkkkk Grace don't stop now....lol.

I'll be waiting.

marygems said...

absolutely stunning pics..thanks. Have shared with my neighbour who grows milkweed and had many monarchs for her children to enjoy. She is a photographer, but your pics are the best I've ever seen.
I love all your post but don't often comment but please know your posts are enjoyed immensely.
Mary, New Zealand.

Brian King said...

Beautiful! These are awesome! Love the hummer, too!

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Great series of pictures.. So interesting.. Congrats and regards..

Margaret Adamson said...

These are stunning photographs. Have a great weekend.

Kerri Farley said...

WOW!

EG CameraGirl said...

I'm so jealous!!

TexWisGirl said...

just a remarkable thing!

pattisjarrett said...

This never gets old! Love observing the process, thanks for sharing, we've had few to follow this year.

Gunilla Bäck said...

Fabulous shots! How amazing to be able to follow the process so closely.

Sharon K said...

Michael wants to know how you know these are his pajamas and not pants from the 1970's???

Anita Johnson said...

I still can't get over these photos...I'm sharing your link with my family...

eileeninmd said...

wow, these are amazing photos. I love the caterpillar and the hummer.. Awesome series! Thank you for linking up, have a happy weekend!

Janice Adcock said...

Both post were wonderful.

Marie said...

Fantastic! What a joy to see such a transformation in your own yard! The link didn't work...I hope you will post the emergence later as well!

Susan (ABON) said...

Amazing photos! How exciting to watch this transformation! Thank you for sharing it with us :)

Hannah said...

Your photos are great, we don't have Monarchs here but I'm trying to plant milkweed so perhaps they could come. The caterpillar and chrysalis are favorites of mine for beauty. So nice to see the whole process, I hope to see the emergence too.

Christa atCedarmereFarm said...

Hi Connie, these are amazing photos. I love what your husband did. I also checked your website. You are a fantastic photographer. I am your new follower. Have a great weekend. Christa