Monarch caterpillar; begining the chrysalis process. Image: Su Leslie, 2017
Monarch caterpillar, shedding its skin. Image: Su Leslie, 2017
Monarch chrysalis. Image; Su Leslie, 2017
Monarch butterfly. Image: Su Leslie, 2017
Last summer the Big T and I planted milkweed, and enjoyed front-row seats to the lives of some monarch butterflies. From egg to mature caterpillar takes around two weeks; the chrysalis stage lasts around 10 days, and a butterfly can emerge, dry its wings and fly away in about 10 minutes.