The Last Monarch

While that sounds like an epic book title /makes note/, in this case it’s referring to a monarch butterfly. (Who is also pretty epic, as they’re about to make the massive migration journey to Mexico, which is a long haul for a little butterfly!)

First, let me share this cool shot of a final-stages chrysalis. They turn black and then give a translucent peek at what’s to come! I took this shot last week:

dark chrysalis with gold dots and monarch butterfly wing visible through

The next day, I went out to check on the chrysalis (this one was attached to the underside of a window), and I found this monarch butterfly — so newly emerged, the wings were still dripping.

monarch butterfly, wings open

This one will migrate all the way to Mexico, and so will live much longer than ordinary monarch butterflies (about nine months instead of a few weeks). That’s thousands of miles, for a little insect! No one knows exactly how the butterflies know their migration route, since only about every fifth generation or so migrates.

I’m already planning additional milkweed for next year’s butterfly ranching.

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4 Comments

  1. I love this! Thank you! Am already looking forward to next summer’s Monarch updates! ?

  2. So beautiful! Great photo captures. It’s been fun to share in your butterfly ranching adventures. Glad you’re planning to keep going with it!

  3. Those who add beauty to the world should be blessed, as it is they who bless the rest of the world!

  4. I love seeing people help the monarchs :-) I have a cousin in Massachusetts who has been doing this for a while now; this year she raised 64, I think. Every little bit helps. She mentioned that the wings on the ones who will migrate are longer than the summer generations’ wings, so they can fly the long distance better. I found that fascinating. It’s always cool to see how God plans stuff out!

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