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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Monarch Chrysalis

Ábout a week ago, I talked about how it was cold and we brought into the house two Monarch Caterpillars. A couple days later and they both had made a Chrysalis. Actually it was Sunday, the 5th, and Monday the 6th. In about two weeks they will hatch into a beautiful Monarch butterfly, at which time we will release them to the wild. Yesterday, we found one more caterpillar on the Milkweed plant, and we brought that one in too, since it was going to be so cold last night, and tonight. So far it is munching away at the milkweed plant supplied to it, and will make a Chrysalis soon, too.

Now, we have tried this before, but without success. Not with Monarchs though. We have a Milkweed plant out back, it is a huge plant, but it does not attract Monarch caterpillars. Some kind of moth lies its eggs on it over the summer. We have never seen it make its cocoon though. At the end of May, of last year, we visited the Greathouse Butterfly Farm, on a field trip. They gave each of the kids a Milkweed plant, and they assured me it was the kind that would attract Monarchs. So we planted them, and while not huge, they have grown nicely.

So, that brings us to the past few days. I really did not expect to find caterpillars this time of year, but am glad we noticed them. I don't think they would have survived the cold, but I could be wrong. We have noticed lots of tiny orange eggs, on the plant, but they must not be eggs, because they never hatch. I am not sure what they are, but they are on both plants.

So, in a couple of weeks, I will be sharing our newly born butterflies. We did have one of those expensive fancy butterfly houses, and nothing ever grew in there. I think it was too cold. These babies are in a large plastic container with a lid. It stays nice and warm in there.

This is how we like to learn about Science.  Note, in the picture only one caterpillar has made a Chrysalis, the other one did it over night into the next day.

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