Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Leaving Home

Early Monday morning we found two black chrysalises.
These two would soon break out of their chrysalises.

After emerging, they hung on the wire lid of the terrarium for awhile.
Our information sheet said that the butterflies would be ready to fly after 90 minutes.
When they began opening and closing their wings,
we took the terrarium outside and removed the lid. Seven green chrysalises
remained attached to the lid, undisturbed. The two butterflies soon took off. 

This morning, six more emerged. 
We took the terrarium outside. 

One went to the bottom of the terrarium. It tried to climb 
the glass wall, but couldn't gain traction.
Then it climbed onto a branch inside the terrarium.
Phil moved the branch close to a milkweed.

The butterfly crawled onto a broad milkweed leaf. Like the other five, 
it spent a long time hanging out in the milkweed, opening and shutting its wings
and then resting. This group seemed to be in no hurry to take wing.

A swallowtail dropped by to show the monarchs
how to fly and where to find the choice nectar flowers. 


PseudoPiskie said...

This has been so much fun to watch. Thanks.

PipeTobacco said...

How very wonderful! I did not realize you had Monarch Butterflies! The migration story about the Monarch is a wonderful story that I use in one of my classes as a way to drive home the point about ecological conservation. It is a mix of the forest density, the canopy height, and the temperature humidity conditions in that over wintering site in Mexico that is so very crucial. There is a famous graphic image showing how the ability of the butterflies to survive the winter is dependent upon the mix of those factors that I stated above.

Here is one image of them in an over wintering site: http://arkansasagnews.uark.edu/Monarchs-tree29.jpg

Unfortunately, deforestation has had a big impact. Here is one graph showing a decline, but it is stabilizing due to the awareness and decline in deforestation in those regions in Mexico: http://monarchjointventure.org/images/uploads/general/Western_Population_Graph_2015.png

Here is a close up view of what their density looks like on an overwintering tree: http://www.learner.org/jnorth/images/graphics/mexico/StormJan2002_0018.jpg

I am so very happy for you to have had this success and that you found it very fun and enjoyable!


forsythia said...

Dear Pipe, Thank you for sending these links.