Hatching a Monarch Butterfly is a magical thing to behold. The rapid transformation from chubby grub to elegant butterfly bears the stamp of God all over it. This country family will surely never tire of witnessing the miracle.
We found our very first Monarch caterpillar in the field next door. The field is positively busting with milkweed in the Fall. An where there is milkweed, there are surely one or two chubby yellow and white creepy crawlers nearby. We placed him in our insect box where he proceeded to consume four or five entire milkweed leaves in less than a day! He slowed down on Day 2 and by evening was hanging upside down by a white goo in the shape of a letter 'J'. By Day 3 we found him in a shiny green chrysalis-- his yellow and white skin shriveled on the floor of the box. It happened so fast!
We almost missed it! The books have said to expect the transformation to take two weeks. But on Day 18, I think I gave our Monarch up for dead. We left the cage bug box out on the porch, but I stopped checking.Then this morning Aidan called up the stairs, "Jo, you better come and see this." Our beautiful butterfly was waiting for us. And it is a SHE! I barely had time to snap one photo before she stretched her wings and took off. We watched her fly into the forest. I hope she makes it to Mexico.