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Monarch Watch September 2017

Day 31 - 20171010 (Tuesday)

This one was even more depressing than Chrysalis 1. The Monarch fell from its chrysalis right after hatching. From what I understand, they need to hang upside down for around 10 minutes or so right after they hatch in order to pump fluid into their wings. If they fall and cannot pump the fluid into their wings, they will never be able to fly. Unfortunately, I did not get there until too late. I tried to help it out by first giving it something to cling to, but it was not able to hang on. I then held it upside down for a good long while, but to no avail.

I need to do some more research. I came across several sources about helping out the Monarchs, but was not able to do anything for this brood. Maybe next year.

Day 30 - 20171009 (Monday)

Chrysalis 2 is pretty transparent, so it looks good to go for tomorrow.

Day 29 - 20171008 (Sunday)

Sad news. The monarch hatched, but it looks like a spider got to it. Chrysalis 2 still looks healthy.

Day 28 - 20171007 (Saturday) - Part III

Chrysalis 1 - 1623

Day 28 - 20171007 (Saturday) - Part II

I think it looks like Chrysalis 1 will hatch tomorrow
Chrysalis 1 - 1345

Chrysalis 1 - 1130

Day 28 - 20171007 (Saturday) - Part I

These were taken at about 1000
Chrysalis 1

Chrysalis 2

Day 27 - 20171006 (Friday)

I saw two Monarch butterflies today (not mine) so I am hopeful. It might be my imagination, but I think the chrysalis are getting a tad darker. Maybe tomorrow?

Day 25 - 20171004 (Wednesday)

We are now just at the two week mark for the first chrysalis and coming up on the two week mark for the second chrysalis. From what I understand, it should take about 10 - 14 days, so I am getting a little worried. On the other hand, it has been a little chilly here recently and that may slow things down. It is supposed to warm up this weekend, so fingers crossed!

Day 21 - 20170930 (Saturday)

Getting close!

Day 13 - 20170922 (Friday)

The second chrysalis.

Day 12 - 20170921 (Thursday)

Well, this morning I looked and I did not see any caterpillars. There are ALOT of places in the area where they could have gone off to, so I really did not pay it any mind. I checked again this evening and I saw a SECOND caterpillar on the side of my house! Looks like that we will have a second chrysalis, at least that I know about!

Day 11 - 20170920 (Wednesday) - Part II

We have a chrysalis! When it happened, it happened pretty fast. The video is sped up 10X.

Day 11 - 20170920 (Wednesday) - Part I

3 today including the one of the side of my house, although when I just looked, I could not find one of the two I saw on the milkweed this morning. The one on the house is now hanging in a J-shape. I have my camera running film on him. I saw another Black Swallowtail today too!

Day 10 - 20170919 (Tuesday)

I only saw 4 today, but I did not look real hard. One of them was on the side of my house, so I think it is ready to turn.

Day 09 - 20170918 (Monday)

This morning's count was 6, I believe. From what I understand, they start to pupate about 2 weeks after hatching, when they are about 2 inches long. It should be anytime now. I have been keeping an eye out for chrysalis, but have not found any recent ones. I did, however, find an old shell on the side of my house yesterday.

Day 07 - 20170916 (Saturday)

I could not find the second of the original pair. I looked around for a chrysalis, but could not find one.

I also spotted a Black Swallowtail butterfly today!

Day 06 - 20170915 (Friday)

Once again, I am pretty sure these are still the same two as in the picture down below. This morning I spotted 5, but later tonight, I could not find one of the first pair. He may have gone off to pupate. I think I read once that the can travel up to 50ft from their birth plant to forma chrysalis.

Today's bonus, I found a Black Swallowtail caterpillar!

Day 05 - 20170914 (Thursday)

More pictures from this morning. I am pretty sure these are still the same two as in the picture down below. The second picture if a close up of the upper left one in the first picture. I think they will need to move on to a second plant soon! I spotted a total of 6 this morning. 4 were good sized and looked like they were growing. The other two still seemed on the smallish side.

Day 04 - 20170913 (Wednesday)

I took this picture this morning. Not the greatest picture in the world, but I am pretty sure these are the same two as in the previous picture. They decimated the top half of the milkweed plant they are on!

Day 02 - 20170911 (Monday)

Took this picture this morning. They are on the small side, so I can only assume that they hatched fairly recently.

Here is my assistant.

Day 01 - 20170910 (Sunday)

I saw eight Monarch caterpillars in my milkweed patches today. Eight! I think this is the last brood of the year, but is definitely the most I have seen at any one time.