I first became accustomed to the milkweed plant on a hiking trip. It was covered with monarch butterflies dancing an awesome dance, lingering on each leaf for a moment, then moving on. I mentally thought to myself...gotta take a few of them home.
I planted my wild milkweed in my butterfly garden. Nothing came up the year I planted them, so I thought they were just not compatible with our naturalized way of life. Boy, was I wrong! The next year the milkweed came up with a vengeance. There was so many milkweed plants that I had to pull some to make my garden look like there was a few flowers in it. The ones that were left flourish and towered over all the other flowers.
I noticed that there were green caterpillar's up and down the leaves and stems of the milkweed. Upon further investigation I also noticed what looked like eggs. I decided to make an aquarium for my new caterpillars to see what would happen. I picked caterpillars of all sizes and put a leave or two of milkweed in there every day....The leaves started disappearing and the caterpillars started growing.
I had quite a few cocoons all summer long and new there schedule well. Now me and my grand kids have made collecting caterpillars a summer long adventure!
|getting ready to emerge|
Getting ready to start life
Another beautiful monarch