Another butterfly update: with video

Ready to fly. Close-up shot of one of fourteen monarch butterflies that emerged from it's cocoon in our garden today. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Ready to fly. One of fourteen monarch butterflies that emerged from it’s cocoon in our garden today. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

The Big T’s monarch rescue programme is proving to be incredibly successful. Over the last few days about twenty five butterflies have emerged; fourteen of them today.

Here’s a video I made this afternoon; just a few of the hatchlings getting ready to take flight and leave us forever. Apologies for the slightly out-of-focus bits.

Regular Random: five minutes of caterpillar feeding frenzy

Thanks entirely to the Big T’s efforts at butterfly husbandry (more on that to come), our swan plants are positively heaving with Monarch caterpillars.

Most of them are huge and are rapidly chrysalising (if that’s a word) — which is fortunate because at the rate they eat, they are in danger of running out of food.

So this week’s five minutes of random was spent watching swan plant foliage disappear before my eyes.

Five Minutes of Random (the RegularRandom challenge) is hosted by Desley Jane at Musings of a Frequently Flying Scientist.

All photos ©Su Leslie, 2017

Chrysalis update: a happy ending, we think?

No news is good news, right? The shell was empty when we got home from the beach. In age: Su Leslie, 2017

I had such high hopes of watching our latest chrysalis emerge, but when we got home from the beach yesterday, the shell was empty. I’m taking this as a sign the butterfly successfully emerged. The process was much faster than with the last hatchling, which I think might also be a good sign. 

So sadly, no video of  an emerging butterfly, but hopefully one more Monarch to thrive and breed.

By way of compensation, here are a couple of shots of the first hatchling; which somehow survived the chrysalis stage glued to a matchstick, held in place with a bulldog clip, attached to a nail in a piece of wood. 

Hatchling one; rescued from the ground, and held in place with glue and the Big T’s ingenuity.Image: Su Leslie, 2016.

Testing its wings. Monarch butterfly rescue hatchling #1. Image: Su Leslie, 2016