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Here’s another post, that if you’re reading in RSS on a reader, you’ll want to check out the actual blog.  The photos are worth it. :)

So two years ago, we had a summer of bullfrogs & butterflies, as we hatched tadpoles in to frogs & released them and hatched monarch eggs in to caterpillars, watched their chrysalis, & then released them as butterflies.

And we’re having one again – minus the tadpoles.

My friend Karen, who is a butterfly afficianado, welcomed us to her home and found a caterpillar for us.  Our milkweed has yet to turn up any eggs, but I keep checking & looking.  Karen said that this year, the butterflies seem to be laying eggs in the flower of the milkweed, not on the backs of the leaves as we’ve seen in the past.  dsc_0040

The first day we brought the little guy home, he was pretty quiet.  Hidden in the flower of the plant, he seemed content to nibble here and there, and short of seeing tiny bits of caterpillar poo, you wouldn’t have a clue.

He’s tiny – this shot was taken without a macro lens and he is about 1/4″ (2.5cm) long.

The next day, I caught these shots with my macro:dsc_0061

He looks much bigger than the day before, but he’s only about 1/2″ long (5cm).  While it’s tiny, he’s essentially doubled his size in 24 hours and will continue at this phenomenal growth rate until chrysalis.

dsc_0067Right now, a grain of  Japanese (sticky) rice is about half of his size – in previous years I put a dime on the leaf for comparison, but these leaves are being held up vertically, so that doesn’t work.

I also have a leaf with an egg on it – the egg hasn’t hatched and Karen thinks it’s something other than a monarch egg.  We’ll keep watching it to see what comes out of it (if anything – two years ago we had a dud that never hatched).

dsc_0050

Stay tuned – I have more photos and more updates to come!

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