14 November 2010

The Last Monarch

Last week I posted a photo of the Monarch butterfly chrysalis that was attached to a succulent. Before that 28-degree night the succulent was moved into the shed, in filtered light.

We took a 10 day trip and the day after we returned, the chrysalis had become clear. We could see the butterfly fully formed inside. Like worried grandparents we hoped it could be born despite the unusual circumstances.

The next day, here it is, drying its wings on the succulent. I moved it so it could hang out on a yellow milkweed. I had brought the blooming milkweed inside so the butterfly would have some nectar if it hatched.

After a few hours, I put it outside in the sun. There was still time to fly south to Texas and make the trip to Mexico.

Sadly, she decided to stay here. Yesterday afternoon when I went out to the shed to pot up lettuce seedlings, there she was, hanging onto the (also stored in the shed for the winter) split leaf philodendron. Now, it's probably going to be too cold for her to make the trip.

Don't get me wrong, I'll enjoy her company. But she won't have a mate and a family and a vacation in sunny Mexico.

By the way, you can tell it's a she because there are no little black dots in the center windowpane area of her wings.

No comments: