Sunday, February 10, 2013

Butterfly Bumper Crop

Winter 2013 has been so mild, most of the plants we moved into the new greenhouse probably could have stayed where they were.  However, their tiny hitchikers have provided a reason to learn a new word - "chrysalides".  It's the preferred plural form of chrysalis, and I looked it up today after finding 6 Monarch chrysalides in all their celadon and gold beaded glory in the greenhouse, along with a newly emerged adult.

Thinking it would give the (outside) butterflies an early start, I was overwintering several tropical milkweed plants in the greenhouse as well.  Four are blooming and had provided a temporary nectar source, but unfortunately not enough to sustain the adult..  As the day warmed, I gently showed him the door.  Another reason to be grateful for our mild winter and all of the other plants that have started blooming early.

 Can you find three chrysalides hidden in the ponytail palm foliage?
This guy was a little easier to spot.  It's on the leg of one of the plant benches.

At some point, I had hoped to learn more about how to hatch and release Monarchs, but it looks like it's going to be on the job training this year.  If you have experience with this, please leave a comment.  
And wish them luck!

All material © 2013 by Vicki Blachman for Playin' Outside
Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.


Crafty Cristy said...

Congratulations on your chyrsalides. Beautiful! I planted some milkweed for just this reason, but so far, we haven't had but one monarch visit. No chrysalides, so far. We had numerous chrysalides of fritillary butterflies (Passion Fruit Vine). I really enjoy watching the life cycle of butterflies.

I am sure you'll figure out what to do. They don't need much assistance. (Just don't touch them when they are emerging from chrysalis or while they are drying their wings. It will stunt their wings and they won't be able to fly correctly.)

Jason said...

Lucky you to find all those monarchs! I love that shade of green. Hope there is enough nectar out there!

Lancashire rose said...

What a wonderful bonus of having a greenhouse. I had so many caterpillars on my dill this winter but they wandered off somewhere to make their chrysalides. I hope they survived.

vbdb said...

Yes Jenny, we had to swear off dill and parsley at one point because there were so many swallowtail caterpillars. Guess we can only be good hosts and wish them luck.

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