Saturday, September 7, 2013

Saturday Snapshot: Monarch Magic

At times, reading a novel leads me to some sort of a project.  After reading Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver, I became intrigued by the idea of creating a small habitat for monarch butterflies.  My sister-in-law, Kristine, advised me to get milkweed plants for the garden, to attract monarchs.  I bought several "butterfly plants", or milkweed, from Home Depot, to plant outside. To my delight, monarch butterflies quickly discovered the plants and laid eggs on them, leading to numerous caterpillars, who start out very tiny and grow larger and plumper by eating the milkweed, their only source of food.  Eventually, some of these caterpillars became gorgeous chrysalises, with their trademark gold band, which are truly an exquisite sight.  With my iPhone, I took a few photos of this incredible life cycle.  This experience has been a highlight of my summer.  

A monarch on the milkweed

Caterpillars feasting on milkweed

A beautiful chrysalis
 
A new monarch, nearly ready for flight

Created by Alyce from At Home With Books, Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda from West Metro Mommy Reads.  To participate, post a photo, or a few photos, taken by you, a friend, or a family member, and add your link on Melinda’s site.  Your comments are welcomed. 

24 comments:

  1. How beautiful! I think it's wonderful that you're helping the butterflies out with a place to live and also that you get to watch them grow up :)

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    1. Thank you very much! It's been wonderful to watch the life cycle in progress. I also have seeds to plant next spring. :)

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  2. What a fantastic thing to do! So great to be able to see it in your own backyard. It's extraordinary to think of those tiny fragile creatures migrating to Mexico.

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    1. They are remarkable creatures! Thank you for your comment, Louise.

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  3. What amazing photographs. You must have lots of patience to have captured each of these steps.

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  4. This is amazing, I had no idea you could attract then by doing this. Amazing and it must be beautiful to watch, how long did it take in total? Beautiful photographs, thanks for sharing.

    Lany http://www.alwaysreading.net

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    1. Lany, I planted the milkweed a couple of months ago. For more detailed info, please visit: http://www.monarch-butterfly.com/
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. Suko, what a great idea to create your own monarch habitat. That's wonderful. Love the pics!

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  6. This is such a lovely post! I love the fact that your inspiration for this came from a book. And the pictures are just gorgeous! It makes me want to plant milkweed in my own garden next spring :)

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    1. It would be a wonderful,educational project to share with your children, Sam. Thank you so much for stopping by.

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  7. love the post.. Monarch butterflies are indeed a wonderful sight.. and at Santa Cruz here in the bay area, they are an annual attraction

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  8. Great pictures!

    It is super that you were able to set up this habitat! It is also neat that you were able to photograph all the stages of the lifecycle.

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  9. Wonderful photos! Thanks for posting these!

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    1. Thanks, Eriko! It's been a joy this summer to watch them.

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  10. That's fantastic! And since you've already read Flight Behavior you know the Monarchs need our help.

    I planted milkweed this year and sadly no Monarchs. Last year I only had one Monarch caterpillar. I'm not sure what the problem is but I will definitely try again next year, and try moving the milkweed to another part of the yard.

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    1. Leslie, we have the right climate for them. We saw a ton of baby caterpillars on the milkweed, who then munched away on them. Best of luck to you next year!

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  11. Beautiful pictures! I love butterflies, but I haven't seen too many this year.

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  12. This is lovely, Suko.I planted one small plant but I see one needs to have several to attract butterflies. Congrats1

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  13. Just beautiful Suko! and so needed, unhappily. Butterflies are beginning to become extinct and they are necessary to our ecology! anyway, have a great day!

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  14. WOW...these were awesome Susan, and how appropriate after Flight Behavior.

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  15. I saw an IMAX documentary on monarchs that was stunning. It mentioned gardeners like you that purposely planted milkweed in their garden for these butterflies! Your pics remind me of that. What a lovely gesture on your part!

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    1. Thank you, Laura! It's been a real joy to help monarch butterflies, and I'm rewarded by their remarkable presence right outside of my home.

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  16. Great shots! And so cool that you took them with your iPhone!

    Here's my Saturday Snapshot!

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