The monarch climbs

Butterfly Brain

If someone had told me a year ago that a year later I’d a) be living in North Carolina, and b) hanging out in my backyard tending to a garden, c) feeding peaches to deer, d) identifying more species of birds than I’ve ever known, I’d have laughed at you. Suffice it to say, I’ve embraced the change! Change is good. I don’t care much for comfort. It leads to predictability and that’s boring. And as boring goes, check this out. (I know I know, it’s a bit much but there’s no shame in my game.) We planted milkweed and it grew taller than me, something we were never successful at up in Boston for some reason. I’ve long wanted to attract monarch butterflies, and create an opportunity for new monarchs to hatch. Migrating monarch butterflies, after all, are in grave danger and that’s not good for our ecosystem. All that said, we had the great joy of watching caterpillars grow, gobble up our milkweeds, form their chrysalises, and then hatch into monarch butterflies. Sure, this is a grade school science experiment but the metamorphosis is truly a miracle of nature, and we were enthralled with it. Without further ado…

It started with a caterpillar, gobbling up our milkweeds, then there was a chrysalis, and then the monarch emerged, and took form, and climbed, and spread its wings, and flew. The whole process was 30 days, with the final stage (from hatching to flying) being nearly four hours. For all the photos see here on Flickr.

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And a couple time lapse videos, from my YouTube page

 

(Photos taken with Canon EOS 5D Mark III with EF100mm L Macro IS USM lens. Time lapse made in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.)