Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Late summer and Monarch Butterflies

"The butterfly and I had lit upon,
Nevertheless, a message from the dawn",
Robert Frost

From the egg laid on the leaf of a milk weed, to a tiny larvae, to an adult caterpillar. The exciting stages of a Monarch butterfly.

The Monarch butterfly used to be abundant but now their numbers are declining.
This summer I learned how to help increase their chances of survival by hand raising.

Because the small egg is vulnerable at this stage it is easy to help 
ensure survival by bringing the plant with the egg into a protected area and raise the small larvae to a full grown caterpillar.  When the caterpillar reaches maturity it forms a perfect jade green capsule..a chrysalis....a perfect container for the miracle that happens next.

Now the chrysalis is formed and begins to transform the body of the
 caterpillar to a butterfly.

Here she is, an exquisite female. 

Butterfly letting go.

A drawing in honor of these beautiful silent creatures.