Monarch Butterflies

This summer I spent some time taking photos at a local garden center in New Hampshire hoping to get a good shot of a Monarch that I could turn into a thermofax screen. I could never seem to get them when the wings were open.  This is the best shot I managed.

Monarch Butterfly at Spider Web Gardens

One day after a frustrating photo shoot at the garden center when the weather was hot and sticky, I drove back home by the lake (where it is much cooler) only to get out of the car and take this shot in my mother’s own garden!

Monarch Butterfly in Barbara’s garden at Merrymount

and also this one

Late summer Monarch’s at Merrymount

A few days later we visited the Kirkwood Garden at the Squam Lake Science Center where hundreds of butterflies were enjoying some Joe Pye Weed.

Monarch butterflies feeding on Joe Pye Weed

By September I am back in Virginia and noticed some monarch caterpillars on milkweed plants which Bob and I purposely left in our garden, even though they are not attractive plants, because milkweed is the only food of the Monarch caterpillar and on the butterfly’s migratory path it has become more scarce.

Last week I found some caterpillars on the plants and decided to take them in to school so the kids could see them.  They generated lots of excitement and many kids 🙂 happily already knew what they were looking at.  On Friday I brought them home for the weekend so I could be sure they had a fresh supply of milkweed leaves and lo and behold if one of them didn’t turn into a chrysalis.  I am so excited so I know the kids will be too.

Yesterday I noticed one caterpillar had formed a J shape and was attaching itself to the stem from the milkweed. I am a little concerned since this stem is rather soft.

On Sunday morning a chrysalis has formed.

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