In the last week or so I finally starting seeing Monarch caterpillars on the milkweed in my pollinator garden. I counted about twenty in different instar states. Since then all the leaves of the milkweed have been eaten and the caterpillars have slinked off to find a safe place to hang out and morph into a chrysalis and eventually a butterfly. I was lucky enough to find one of the caterpillars in the classic “J” pose, ready to morph. The first video is filmed at normal speed so you can watch in detail the moments leading up to the emergence of the chrysalis. The second video compresses about 1/2 hour into about a minute and a half. Which ever video you watch, I recommend watching in 4k, full screen.
The pollinator garden in my yard has been a pretty good place for Monarch butterflies. So far this summer I’ve counted a couple dozen Monarch caterpillars, a number of chrysalis’s and have seen about 15 butterflies successfully emerge. I was able to catch some of the action.
Monarch, chrysalis to butterfly:
The desert milkweed I’ve recently planted in my yard has continued to support lots of butterfly and caterpillar activity:
This afternoon I spent an hour or so wandering around my yard to see what I could spy. Of course I had my camera gear with me and recorded what I consider to be some pretty cool critters.
First, A female Desert Spiny Lizard, on the rocks:
Wildflower blooms with some cool pollinator bugs:
A Monarch Butterfly caterpillar dining on milkweed:
And, a desert milkweed seed pod: