Photo: Journal Entry May 10th, 2012

Another busy day! The sun is shining and the temperatures are in the 70˚F range. Perfect for butterflies. I just had to find time to check the milkweed plants for eggs. Still frustrated that I haven't seen any Monarchs flying around the yard, but I am seeing lots of Mourning Cloaks and small Sulphurs.
Finally got out at 3:30 pm to check for eggs. The mammas have been busy!
Found 76 eggs!
Total egg count : 200

There were also 12 more hatchlings late last night, plus 24 today. I spent a little time transferring the tiny first instar monarchs into cages. And I photographed this happy, plump two day old cat, with a slightly younger friend. His head is the same size as it was at birth, but his body is much bigger. He will have to shed soon. I hope I can catch that process with my camera.
Photo: Journal Entry May 11th, 2012

Busy day... again. Haven't finished my counts today, so i will post the numbers tomorrow. Went to the Friend's Plant Sale today. Got a couple new varieties of milkweed to try in the yard. I have plenty of the common milkweed, but would love to see how other variety fair. And if they will have as many monarch eggs on them. So, I have some gardening to do....

This image shows a first instar cat who has been eating his first milkweed meal. He's eaten a hole in the milkweed bigger than he is!
Always amazes me!
Photo: Journal Entry May 11th, 2012

First batch of Monarchs are entering their second instar stage. This fellow below has just shed his skin and head case. The tiny head case sits next to him on the leaf. He will soon turn around and eat his old skin. Nature hate to waste anything. His little antennae will soon unfold as they fill with fluid and his head and legs will darken.

35 more hatchlings emerged. I will soon lose count of the hatchlings... too many babies to keep track of individuals. Found one more dead egg.
Found 20 eggs.
Total egg count : 220
Photo: Journal Entry May 12th, 2012

A sunny clear day, the milkweed plants are beginning to form flower buds.
I didn't sleep well last night as my human child was ill during the night, so the Monarch babies will have to wait. :}

As I was returning from the grocery store, my hands heavy with shopping bags, I walked into a garden filled with butterflies. My exhaustion and aching muscles forgotten as I watch the little Red Admirals flutter from flower to flower. One tiny tattered fellow flies toward me. I stop watching, waiting for him to skip away from me. Then, suddenly, he lands on my belly. In the middle of my tie-dyed shirt, he spreads his wings into the sun. I hold still, surprised, he is still, peaceful, showing no signs of wishing to move from his perch on my middle. I study his battered wings. The beauty of his colors and treasure that he is fearless to share this moment with me. I wait for him to realize his mistake. I am not a flower, or even a plant of any kind. My arms hang, weighed down with gallons of milk and slowly thawing frozen fruit. Still he stays, wings spread, soaking up the sunshine's warmth. Finally, I must move. With a sigh, I step forward, the moment over, as the world calls me back to my chores. The little Red Admiral flutters off to find a less mobile resting spot.

Found 57 eggs
Total egg count : 277
Photo: Journal Entry May 13th, 2012

Mother's day... a beautiful sunny joyful day! Went to Powderhorn Park to see the Heart of the Beast May Day Parade. I was so happy to see how many gardeners in that neighborhood are letting milkweed grow in their gardens. I saw a half dozen Monarch soaring through the park. Lots of eggs on plants... so hard to restrain from plucking them and bringing them home. :D They belong where they are... taking their chances with life as it is in the city.

Came home late, no time to search for eggs today. Did find a few on my walk up the sidewalk. A few of the cats are entering their third instar. I will miss photographing them this time. Spent a little time cleaning the cages and adding fresh leaves. Tomorrow will be here soon enough.

Found 3 eggs
Total egg count : 280
Loading...
Ozmorrhiza's Monarch Garden
Public
Journal Entry May 11th, 2012

First batch of Monarchs are entering their second instar stage. This fellow below has just shed his skin and head case. The tiny head case sits next to him on the leaf. He will soon turn around and eat his old skin. Nature hate to waste anything. His little antennae will soon unfold as they fill with fluid and his head and legs will darken.

35 more hatchlings emerged. I will soon lose count of the hatchlings... too many babies to keep track of individuals. Found one more dead egg.
Found 20 eggs.
Total egg count : 220

2 plus ones
5 comments