I don’t think I ever finished documenting last year’s butterfly adventures. The short story version: more baby caterpillars showed up in our yard in November. Which was weird. Monarchs aren’t supposed to be mating and laying eggs in the “winter”. These caterpillars remained caterpillars way longer than the prescribed 10-14 days, and the chrysalids remained chrysalids for 30 & 33 days, respectively (also way longer than normal). When temperatures outside dropped below freezing, we brought the chrysalids indoors.
Since this monarch emerged on a cold rainy day, we kept her inside overnight to dry out. Big Dude jimmy-rigged a warming light onto the banana stock we’d chopped down in our backyard (after the wind blew over our banana tree).
We released her the next day during a sunny couple of hours…
Because those winter caterpillars (9 of them all together) lived so long, they decimated our milkweed. I’ve since bought a few plants from Lowe’s and thrown a bunch of seed here and there. Which brings us to present day. We’ve had caterpillars since early May. They have turned our yard into their very own chrysalid playground (taking over chairs, pottery, plants, pipes, & window frames). As of today, we have 7 chrysalids. We should have butterflies emerging within the next week.
I’m sure the dudes all think I’m totally nutso. But they do a great job helping me hunt down the chrysalids. And hey, it’s cheap entertainment.