A Monarch Butterfly Is Born

| November 23, 2012 | 20 Replies

Today was the day! I checked on my cocoon early, as it was quite dark yesterday. I took this photo about an hour before she emerged.


Monarch Cocoon in Final Stage

You can see where the dark ring top left became a row of holes, presumably for ventilation, as it does not function as an exit zipper. The butterfly rips open the bottom. The cocoon is molded by the shape of the folded wings. In the final stage, the cocoon wall is virtually transparent, and the polka dots and patterned wings can be plainly seen. Mark and Andy dropped by and as we sat and talked, a beautiful female emerged.


Female Monarch Butterfly Just After Emerging from Cocoon

I had taped cheesecloth below the cocoon for the butterfly to grasp, however, she went up (they go forward I discovered, not back), and slipped and fell! Her damp wings were no help. She struggled to balance, and I let her walk onto my hand. I named her Celeste.

Celeste was quite friendly, and climbed on Mark’s beard and walked across Andy’s hands.


Monarch Butterfly on Andy’s Hand

This was a very special gift for Thanksgiving and I am grateful for Mother Nature and all of her exquisite creatures. The detail in this one butterfly is a marvel.


Female Monarch Butterfly Poses for the Camera


Female Monarch Spreading Wings for First Time

After my first humble attempt at growing food this year, I am especially grateful for our farmers and food providers all over the world. It’s a 24/7 job to grow food, for if you are not in the fields, you are planning, borrowing money from the bank, grinding corn, processing pigs and chickens. There is always something you have to do, and simply growing food in a small front yard has made me ever more appreciative of all the care that goes into food production. Thank you, Nature. Thank you, Farmers. I hope you had a blessed day of thanksgiving. – Kaye

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Category: Monarch Butterfly

Comments (20)

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  1. Pat says:

    This is so amazing. You really have the best eye and appreciation of the natural things.

  2. msandysehic says:

    we witnessed something very unique and special and beautiful today! THANK YOU! 🙂

  3. the magic of transformation and so beautiful. What a thrill to be a part of this. As I was reading this I was thinking that gardening, too, is transformation. You plant a tiny seed in the ground and it grows and blooms and turns into broccoli or a sunflower!

  4. How beautiful and holy; thank you!

  5. MaryZ says:

    What a beautiful event! A perfect way to say thanks to nature.

  6. flamidwyfe says:

    Wow!! Such a beautiful emergence! My oldest grandchild is Celeste… A special child and a special butterfly 🙂

    • Yes, in fact, I have not seen another Monarch since she flew off that day. I think they have moved on. And I’m quite happy, as I have to watch out for about 15 caterpillars now and make sure they become adults. Today I squished about 1000 orange aphids with my fingers, which were stained orange! Aphids won’t hurt the cats, but they weaken the milkweed. – Kaye

  7. It’s a girl – congrats. What a timely reminder of the wonderful world in which we live

  8. Thanks for capturing such an amazing event. It must occur thousands of times (or more) per generation but it never fails to inspire awe.

    Thanks also for expanding the Monarch’s habitat (which is shrinking elsewhere). They certainly have taken a liking to your garden.

  9. Thank you! Yes, that’s why I planted it. There is controversy about whether to plant milkweed which encourages them to stick around and not migrate. But, I did anyway. – Kaye

  10. oceannah says:

    Kaye I love this post. I hatched out two this past summer and both times I missed the actually exit by mere minutes. Celeste is gorgeous 🙂 Isn’t it amazing to just sit, drop jaw and watch?

    • Yes, I think it would be hard to time it. I will try with three four others that I know of their whereabouts. I have no idea where the other 19 or so will wind up. I could bring a couple inside, but, I think I’m done trying to manipulate them, beyond growing milkweed and taking photos. – Kaye

  11. Healthy A-Z says:

    I’m visiting as a result of Melissa’s (Live, Love Be Green) nomination of your blog for the Liebster Award and I am enjoying reading your posts. My dad started as a farmer, but I know little about growing things. I’m still trying to grow herbs. :-/ Congratulations on your nomination!!

    • Thank you for visiting!! Everyone does and should start with herbs. They are perennial, so they last a long time, you can grow them in pots and they survive in not a whole lot of sun. You can definitely catch the bug growing herbs. If you cook, you will be rewarded with your very own flavors! I suggest trying some seeds, as well as seedlings, to get an idea of the patience level of waiting for them to sprout and grow. Check out great seed companies like B.I., and Seeds of Change, and try an herb you aren’t as familiar with. Happy gardening! Please post on Late Bloomer Show Facebook how you are doing and upload a photo! – Kaye

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