/> a mother's heart » Blog Archive » monarch update

dsc_0012Our first caterpillar is still in chrysalis, but as you can see from the photo, the outline of the wings is starting to be noticeable through the pupa.  This casing will eventually become clear and crack open as our little guy (or gal – time will tell on that one) gets ready to hatch.

You might have to look closely to see the outline of the wings, but they are there. :)

Our “Little Boy,” is now preparing for pupation – he is in a J-formation on the underside of a leaf and is larger than we thought possible.  I think he’s bigger than “Big Boy” ever dsc_0015-1dreamt of becoming – and up until last night, he was eating like a fiend.

A few years ago when we did this, I chronicled the growth of the monarch caterpillars with coins for perspective.  This year, I haven’t done that once.  I’ve had far too much fun with my macro setting, capturing creative shots, and generally just letting them be themselves.

dsc_0017-1I do think that allowing them to have the full stalk of the milkweed seems to produce a larger, more robust caterpillar – these guys have gone to chrysalis in a larger form, earlier than the ones of ’07.  Everything else in their existence and in our care of them is identical, with the exception of allowing them to eat the flower buds.

Science knows so little about these amazing creatures, which is both a testament to the miracle of what they are and what they’ll become, but also an indication that we simply don’t know all that we’d like to think we know.  It’s fascinating to me dsc_0020that with all of our scientific acumen, answers with regard to monarch caterpillars, butterflies,their lifespan, and changing process are most often answered with “We don’t know.”

Still, I think it’s okay that we don’t know all.  It definitely makes this a fun excursion in to the world of science & nature, and it’s cool to be able to fall back to faith and say, “I guess this goes on my ‘Ask God List’ when I meet Him.”  😉

Brendan already has quite a few questions on his list, and he compares notes with his Grammy every so often about what’s on her list.  Monarchs are definitely at the top, though.


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  • http://www.RealHomeSense.com Pat Williams

    Thanks for bringing back the memory of the years I did this with my kids. We had great fun living with excited expectation while waiting for each stage of development. The best part of being a parent was watching the wonder in my children as they learned about life around them.
    .-= Pat Williams´s last blog ..Welcome to the USA =-.