Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Monarch Emerging.

Last week we watched our monarch caterpillar transform into it's chrysalis, it was amazing to watch and kept the kids quite mesmerized. We've been watching our chrysalis for any sign that it was getting to close to emerging.

A few days before, we begin to see the faint colors of a monarch inside.

On the morning that it emerges, the chrysalis becomes transparent and the butterfly inside is quite obvious. When we saw this we knew that our monarch would be emerging at anytime.

Only a few minutes after i took the picture of the translucent chrysalis, i glanced over and saw the chrysalis split. The kids gathered round and we watched in amazement as our monarch emerged.

It dropped out head first, but held on with it's feet. It abdomen is very swelled when it first emerges.

As it begins to uncurl it's wings, the blood from it's abdomen is pumped into the wings. So the abdomen becomes thin and narrow, as the blood is redistributed.

It takes a few minutes for it's wings to uncurl and stretch out.

Once the wings are out, it sits in this position for about an hour or so to let them dry. Then we bring her outside to release.

Sage begged me to put it on her nose, like the swallowtail a few weeks ago. Always a classic picture in our household. :)

Time to fly little monarch! Fare thee well!

It flew away, but didn't go far. She seemed quite happy to hop from flower to flower in our garden. For the last two days while we are outside playing, we see her flutter by while dancing with swallowtails and fritilaries. Sequoia is certain that it is 'our monarch' that we keep seeing fly by. It always makes us smile.


Lisa said...

Absolutely beautiful! Such patience to get this lovely series of photos. I love how he made his chrysalis on the outside edge of that pot.

lisa :)

kenan and tree said...

Thanks! The actual emerging only took a few minutes. i was excited to capture it...they are usually out of the chrysalis before i can grab the camera. :)

suzanne said...

What a lovely Friday nature table post. How wonderful to witness the unfolding.

Thank you
Warm regards

Angela said...

thanks for sharing this with the Friday Nature table group. beautiful photos and great timing - neat that you were there to catch the entire emergence in stages.

the metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a chrysalis to a butterfly is such a magical experience for child and parent alike. it's such an amazing transformation.

Sara Williams said...


Earth Mama said...

What amazing photos!!! How special to see such a beautiful miracle!


themagiconions said...

K and I have studied these photos... they are SPECTACULAR! Lucky you guys to have see that in 'real life' as K exclaimed!
Thank you for sharing on 'Friday's Nature Table'
Blessings and magic.

renee said...

That is so incredibly amazing! Beautiful! Thanks for sharing. (p.s. I remember you from the SB list years and years ago...)

Kelly said...

How wonderful to witness such magic! What a precious Friday nature table post.

kate said... lucky!!! Beautiful : ) Thanks for sharing!

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Green Mamma said...

I am visiting the blogs connected to magic onions' nature table and oh my goodness I am in awe of what you all are learning about and doing with your children. Amazing! I'm inspired to try an activity like this one with my 2 1/2 year old.