Monday, October 3, 2011

Butterfly Dreams Finale: Dancing all the way to Mexico!

We've been blessed to nurture tiny caterpillars with voracious appetites as they grew bigger everyday.  We've been amazed as they magically transformed into Chrysalis and then became Butterflies.  But of all the wonders we've experienced with these amazing little creatures, nothing can compare to seeing them spread their fragile wings and dance amidst our flowers... finally fulfilling the measure of their creation.


This is Primera, the first of our Butterflies to emerge from its Chrysalis. 
What a thrill it was to slide my finger next to her tiny little legs 
to coax her to step onto my hand 
to carry her out to our gardens.

She proved to be the most timid of our royal treasures, 
content to hide within the leaves for awhile...

 before climbing upwards towards the Zinnia blossoms 
where she could soak in the warmth of the sun.

When she sensed it was time to fly...
off she went into the sky. 
I searched for her in my camera lens, but soon realized it was best 
just to watch her dance  
as she would soon disappear from my view.


Several days later, Segunda, our second  butterfly emerged.

Segunda immediately flew from the blossom we placed her on 
and chose instead to rest 
on 'Passionate Blush' Gaura.

She entertained us with her beautiful wings 
as she fanned them politely for several minutes before she, too, flew off to dance in the sky.


Within a few more days, Tercera, our third  Butterfly emerged.
My 16 year old daughter had the honor of escorting Tercera 
to a 'Limelight' Hydrangea in our gardens.

Tercera enjoy the photo shoot immensely
and posed like a royal princess for us.

 My Fashion Diva daughter's influence surely must have influenced  her  
as she allowed us to capture her image in several settings...

 Scabiosa 'Butterfly Blue' was her favorite... and ours!

Tercera soon tired of all the attention and fluttered softly into the skies.

We had such fun with her... she was indeed the most delightful.


Cuarto, our fourth butterfly longed to linger.

She seriously sat here in the impatiens and Coleus 
for the longest while.

The morning was overcast without a bright sun.
and when she finally flew....

it was up to the tippy top of the Redbud tree above her.
There she sat for a very long time...
until the sun came out from behind the clouds 
and warmed her wings...
and then she was off!

Quinta and Sexta
Quinta and Sexta were our fifth and sixth Butterflies to emerge.
They were our only male Monarchs 
as identified by the single black dot on each of the hindwings.

Together they hunted for the perfect spot
and when Quinta dropped into J formation, 
Sexta tried relentlessly to nudge him out of his sleepy state...
to no avail, of course.

Soon he snuggled up next to Sexta 
and dropped into his own J formation...

 and the following morning they were both Chrysalis.

 Ten days later, Quinta and Sexta emerged 
within an hour of each other.

And the very next morning, it was time to release them.

They have a very long journey ahead of them
as they make their way to Mexico.

Can you see Quinta?

He's in there, I promise!
Look a little harder.

Oops, now he's gone. Yea, that fast.

 Sexta was released seconds after Quinta.
Our intention was for them to leave together,  
but Quinta just couldn't wait.

He quickly floated to the top of the Redbud 
(that seems to be a favorite stopping spot)
surveyed the sights...

and then gracefully floated back towards me 
landing on a clump of dahlias.
He stayed just long enough for me to snap a few pictures...

and then he too was off to dance in the warmth of the sun.

They were so-o-o ready to fly 
and it was a perfect day for fluttering.

Dance sweet Butterflies...
all the way to Mexico.

 So that's the end of my Butterfly Dreams...
for this season at least. 
I've learned a great deal as I cared for these little creatures... 
but that's another days post... maybe next Spring?

♥ ♥ ♥
If you've missed any of this series of posts 
of my journey with Monarchs,
click on "Older Post" at the bottom of each page.


  1. This post is were so fortunate to experience this miracle. And, I love the way you named each butterfly and shared a little about their first moments of life. Truly awesome!

  2. Oh so jealous...wish we had such beautiful butterflies her in Blighty. This has been such a wonderful posting to see your 'babies' start their next journey...Well Done You! x

  3. What wonderful photos. I so enjoyed watching it all go on. Beautiful!
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  4. Fantastic pictures, it must have been your nurturing, they would never settle for long enough for me to take images such as these.

  5. It is a wonderful experience to see the transformation to butterflies. Look how beautiful they are. Gorgeous pictures. I have enjoyed watching your postings on your butterflies.

  6. What a wonderful experience to see your fledgling butterflies try their wings and fly away. A couple reminded me of Prudence my reluctant fledgling robin....what a sweet series Carolyn.

  7. Awesome Post!!! Wonderful Photos!

  8. Amazing series--I enjoyed every minute of it. Thanks for sharing!

  9. God speed to your little darlings on their long and arduous trip.

  10. I only discovered about the butterfly migration a few years ago when a friend travelled to Mexico. What an amazing journey! I agree with Alistair that you must be very special for the butterflies to stay still for you to photograph them. Great images and a great post. Christina

  11. How wonderful to see them spread their wings and fly. But also a bit sad. I hope they return with lots of their friends and you have thousands of butterflies next spring, as their way of saying thanks.

  12. Very nice. I traveled to west texas last weekend and saw monarchs all the way down from Kansas. When we got to San Angleo they were arriving searching for a meal and water. Slim pickin's I'm afraid.

  13. What a wonderful experience! I love how they all have their own personalities! I hope they have a successful trip South!

  14. I have really enjoyed this series. What a fun and happy event to participate in.

  15. How fun! I've enjoyed watching your little caterpillars grow and develop into gorgeous butterflies over the past few weeks! Thanks for sharing!

  16. How beautiful! I am hoping to plant more Butterfly Milkweed next year and have my own brood of these beauties. Thank you for sharing all of the details of their transformation.

  17. It is a wonderful feeling seeing a new life begining! I enjoy such moments even from the desktop but it must be spellbindingly enchanting and touchingly sentimental when the experience is for real.

  18. What beautiful dreams to carry you through the winter!

  19. Thanks for sharing with us your wonderful experience of seeing a lowly creature transform into a beautiful butterfly. It really is a wonder of nature! I hope the monarchs will survive for a long long time. I've read that their habitat in Mexico is endangered by human activities.

  20. What a fascinating and beautiful experience! Thanks for sharing it.

  21. ♥ •˚。
    °°Olá, amiga! 。♥。
    ● ♥• Que lindas borboletas!!!
    Seu jardim tem flores muito bonitas, especialmente as dálias.
    ˚。˚ Bom fim de semana!
    ♥ •˚。Beijinhos.

  22. It may be Quinta..greggo from Repose-Black on White.

  23. I've never thought to bring my caterpillars inside to let them hatch! Maybe I'll try that since a friend had her caterpillars attacked by stink bugs. What an incredible experience! How lucky you and those Monarchs are!! :o)

  24. they are like babies, you help them grow up and then have to let them go. Lovely pics, lovely post. And I love the video in the previous post. Fascinating.


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