Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Metamorphosis Is Not Easy

It was just ten days ago when I chose the Monarch Butterflies over green beans.  Today was sunny and hot.  There was no doubt that a butterfly was inside this chrysalis this morning.  I found this quite exciting.  Not every Monarch makes it this far.  When I checked back just before lunchtime the butterfly was gone and the chrysalis was empty.  I saw no sign of an orange and black butterfly anywhere near the green beans. That is probably great news for this butterfly.  Ed did point out another green chrysalis on one of the bean plants so the saga continues.

In another part of the garden I passed by two newly hatched Monarchs on the white asters.  They surely are bright and beautiful when they are newly hatched.

 Sometime later when I returned, one of the Monarchs was gone.  The butterfly that remained had a fold on the edge of her right upper wing.  Her left wing did not pump up properly.  It is good to remember that not all eggs get to hatch, not all caterpillars get to be butterflies and not all Monarchs get to migrate. 

There are still some beautiful flowers in the garden. This pink phlox is fragrant and lovely.  The really big excitement for today in the garden came when Ed called my attention to a black butterfly that was cruising around the garden.  I was the lucky one because I was wishing to get a better look to identify the butterfly and it flew over and sat for perhaps ten seconds with its wings open on a flower right in front of me.  It was a black and blue butterfly.  I know that doesn't sound very pretty, but the upper wings of the butterfly were black and the lower ones were bright blue when they caught the sunlight.  When I came inside and checked my butterfly book I was almost certain that this was a Pipevine Swallowtail.  Most of the blue butterflies around here are tiny.  I love to see them but this butterfly was the size of a Monarch or perhaps even a bit bigger.  I was totally captivated.  Now I will be looking for a place to get a native Pipevine.  Yes it is true that we are just north of  the Pipevine swallowtail's range but I saw one and I want more.  I will dream tonight of big beautiful black and blue butterflies in next years garden. 

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