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September 08, 2016

Butterfly-ing


Remember back when I started planting milkweed in my yard to attract and feed the (disappearing) Monarch butterflies? Well, I just couldn't leave it at that. 

Thanks to my friend Claudia, who showed me I could take this (obsession) a few steps further to assure the birthing of monarchs. 
And it works.
And I didn't get stretch marks this time!
A few milkweed plants being devoured by a gang of monarch caterpillars. *nom nom nommmm*

See the other chrysalis on the top of the enclosure? I sure wish they'd do that in a more convenient spot. 
I brought in several caterpillars to a few enclosed containers with milkweed cuttings. 
They ate. They pooped. They ate and pooped. They ate and pooped. 
They turned into chrysalis. (sometimes before my very eyes-the coolest thing ever!)



This was my very first release. I was super excited. 



And apparently one went rouge, escaped and made his chrysalis on our outdoor dining chair. 
(I moved the chair outside so he could give birth in the open air and not in our screen enclosure)

I stared a few weeks ago and I've (given birth) to at least 7 now. They're the prettiest things with wings!
In the wild the caterpillars have a 20% of survival because of predators.
(I'm battling wasps and hornets who think my babies are yummy!) 

In captivity, they have a 90% of survival!
Sometimes they like to linger on my finger....saying "thanks FOR my life human lady"! 


Here's a before and after IN the garden. 

I hope ya'll are doing well and enjoying your summer. 
We're super happy it's almost over.....it's been a steamer! 

XOXO



12 comments:

  1. Oh how fun! All that birthing! They are beautiful. So ready for cooler temps here, too. Love you!

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  2. 0% chance of survival with our cats!
    Pretty cool you took the extra effort. I love butterflies. Actually if someone doesn't like a butterfly, I don't think I want to know them.

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  3. Such a sweet new hobby :)

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  4. Oh how gorgeous ---and you did great, Mama.... Your babies are beautiful..... I know you are a happy Mama --with no stretch marks or excess weight to lose!!!!! ha

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  5. They are so lovely. I am glad they didn't give you stretch marks. I don't believe you have any. That can't be true.

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  6. Oh, I love this! I've always wanted to do that. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. They are beautiful! You must be one proud mom :-)

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  8. You're running a very impressive birthing center. Well done!!

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  9. Yay!!!! I can't believe all those caterpillars in the top picture. I've never seen so many big ones in my garden. I'm on big batch #2...have at least 12 caterpillars and 2 chrysalises going right now. Hopefully they wait until I get back in town to emerge so I don't miss it this time. :)

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  10. Kudos to the Monarch whisperer. Lovely thing to do for those wonderful butterflies.

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  11. that is so cool! i am doing this next year...i saw someone on facebook doing it too!

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