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Thursday, October 16, 2003

Two Down, Two to Go.

this afternoon darin took out the two red-tip photinias between the sunroom and the deck. only two remain in the backyard (and one by the driveway).

the red-tip eradication took longer than it might have because i first had to inspect each branch, twig and leaf for monarch chrysalides. the largest of our latest crop of monarch caterpillars wandered off yesterday or the day before and i wanted to be sure it didn't end up in a pile with the red-tip scraps.

interestingly enough, today is exactly one month since the last batch of monarch butterflies emerged. i didn't realize the butterfly weed had recovered so quickly. by tomorrow the remaining three caterpillars will have stripped the foliage once again and moved on.

if i remember correctly, this is the fourth generation of monarchs we've had this year. (shame on me; i haven't recorded each generation as it appeared.)

Posted by Erica Bess Duncan in Projects..., Wildlife | Permalink


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Since my garden is so new (about a year old) and the butterlfy weed was only planted this past spring, the butterflies hadn't really found it yet (I read soemwhere it takes a little bit of time to establish a "butterfly" garden). But they found it this month!! My butterfly weed was able to grow about 4" tall but there are hardly any leaves on it after a nice crop of monarch catepillars came through. For my tiny little garden I am proud to say I have 4 chrysalides, 1 about to form and 5 fat catepillars. And being recently unemployed has given me the opportunity to watch them grow and also has let me watch the other butterflies come through and feed on the zinnas, pentas, salvia and other flowers. Looking forwar dto seeing the butterflies emerge. About how many days after the chrysalides form do they emerge?

Posted by: cybertoad | Oct 20, 2003 4:00:45 PM

isn't it amazing how quickly the caterpillars mature? i swear, sometimes i think they double in size overnight!

you're so lucky to be able to find the chrysalides; i search high and low and usually only find half as many chrysalides as caterpillars.

according to the texas monarch watch page, the adult butterflies emege in 7 - 10 days.

Posted by: erica | Oct 20, 2003 11:42:48 PM