Changes are happening rather quickly in our Butterfly Dreams!
Our caterpillars are transforming into Chrysalis.
Monarch Caterpillars in the wild will move away from their food source to begin this transformation into a Chrysalis. Even though we provided sticks for our caterpillars to climb on, several chose to spin their little white button of silk to the underside of a leaf.
Not a good idea.
There are five more hungry caterpillars
who may realize this leaf will make a tasty meal.
But at this stage of the transformation, it's too late to encourage the little guy to go elsewhere. If we wait patiently for a few days, it will be easy and safe to move him.
So we wait.
After about twelve hours,
something magical began to happen to our upside down caterpillar...
his skin split open!
And look at what's inside!
We watched with amazement
as the change took place.
The Chrysalis began to shift from side to side...
wiggle and waggle
back and forth,
back and forth...
until everything feels just right,
all comfy and cozy.
This all happens within a minute or two.
Then slowly, if you have the patience to watch,
more subtle changes take place until all appears to be still.
At least on the outside.
On the inside another miracle is taking place
and the transformation will be complete in 8-12 days.
Our first Chrysalis is still in a dangerous place.
Can you see the danger?
Already those leaves are beginning to disappear.
And that isn't all the danger.
After a couple of days, the leaf is beginning to dry. The branch this leaf is on is in a vase of water and after three days must be discarded and replaced with a fresh branch of milkweed.
Not good for a Chrysalis that needs peace and quiet for 8-12 days.
It's time for rescue intervention...
We left the new chrysalis undisturbed for 2-3 days, then we carefully tied a piece of thread to the black stem of the Chrysalis and cut it away from the leaf it was attached to.
Then we tied the thread to the stick.
This was an easy solution...