Welcome, June. I’m enjoying the longer days, slightly warmer weather, and the discoveries in my new garden.
The two milkweed plants in the backyard attracted Monarch butterflies which I enjoyed watching last month as they danced above the blossoms and ducked into the leaves.
After pulling a few weeds, I stopped to admire the Milkweed’s orange-red blossoms, and there she/he was, munching away on a leaf. A gorgeous plump caterpillar.
In the past few years, I’ve looked for Monarchs in the eucalyptus trees in the next city where they gather during their southern migration from Mexico but I’ve never seen the beginning of their life cycle until now.
Milkweed is the only plant a Monarch butterfly will breed and deposit eggs. Those eggs are now caterpillars and some energetic ones made their way ten feet away and began their next stage on my patio. This one is underneath a patio chair, already in the J stage where it will attach itself with a silk thread. In a couple of days, I’ll gently move the chair into an area where someone won’t sit on it.
On Memorial Day, we sat around the patio table and discovered another tiny treasure. Seems like the caterpillar journey wasn’t solitary. Another little guy/gal attached itself to a steel leg at the bottom of the table. At first, I didn’t know what this was until I remembered my friend, Dani, who said Monarch’s have beautiful chrysalis (cocoons). Well, this little jewel is jade green with dots of gold on its rim.
Dramatic changes take place inside the chrysalis. There are things we can’t see but know are happening. Just like life. Metamorphosis is occurring and with the process, I gain inspiration and hope.
In a few more days another Monarch will be born, fly over to the milkweed, get nourishment and return to Mexico.