7/18/2022 Daily Journal
Since the 2nd monarch caterpillar we’ve seen was hanging in the J on this plant yesterday, last night we left the GoPro out on Night Time Lapse all night taking a picture every 5 minutes. The battery died sometime in the morning, but we narrowed it down that the caterpillar formed the Chrysalis sometime between 8am and 12pm. A four hour window! Here you can see it and the Chrysalis afterwards.
In the morning of 7/18/2022, we observed Caterpillar Number 1 on the largest soulmate plant still munching. However, by noon when we went out at lunch time to check, it’d toddled off to form a Chrysalis, but we still have not located the chrysalis or the caterpillar anywhere. We are hoping that he’ll successfully pupate and emerge a butterfly!
7/19/2022 Daily Journal
Today’s caterpillar update features both tragedy & comedy for those who haven’t tired of my caterpillar saga.
First- an updated count. We have 2 chrysalis hanging, 1 MIA and sadly one RIP
Tragedy first – one caterpillar hung in the J the longest but never pupated. On the camera I saw it go completely straight and stay that way over 12 hours and then today it fell. Sadly, it’s no longer amongst the living. I believe it to be heat related. It was in a sunny spot and very close to the house. I think the heat reflecting back off the house caused a thermal event causing him to fail to pupate. Sad. In the pictures below you’ll see it hanging straight above the one that successfully pupated on the iris leaves.
Comedy next – so I have seen some time lapse videos of the pupating (final molt that turns into chrysalis) but I was under the impression it unfolded in a matter of hours. However, today I learned something. The main process happens in under 5 minutes!! I was taking a picture every 5 minutes with GoPro for about 18 hours I think. I saw the chrysalis and was SO excited to check the footage. Here’s 2 pictures. One pic at 10:28am we clearly see a caterpillar hanging. Then at 10:33am, It’s chrysalis! After this there is some additional movement of the chrysalis before it settles but this very exciting, much anticipated change happened in the space of 5 minutes! I just can’t seem to get the time lapse I wanted!
I am excited to have 2 to continue to watch though. And hoping for more caterpillars to come! I still have a lot of leaves available and there should still be another round or maybe 2.
Here’s a sequence of about 60 minutes worth of photos (every 5 minutes was my setting) and you can see the shifting of the chrysalis after it initially was exposed.
7/20/2022 Daily Journal
We still have 2 Chrysalis Hanging. One on a milkweed plant and one on an iris plant.
Here’s Chrysalis 1 – This is Day 3
And here’s Chrysalis 2 on the iris This is Day 2
Here’s a few bonus pics from today. Including a picture of my little butterfly watering hole I’ve created. It’s a very shallow rock that I add water to when I water the flower bed (and sometimes other times). It gives butterflies and other insects (and toads) a little spot to stop for a bit of moisture. Current state of the Milkweed flowers and then a little toad that showed up during Chrysalis watch.
7/21/2022 Daily Journal
All is well! It’s day 3 and 4 for our 2 chrysalis that are hanging. We still haven’t found a chrysalis or evidence of our first caterpillar who toddled off the milkweed on 7/18/2022. We have moved a few plants around and are trying to get something taller with some leaves going near the milkweed for the next round of caterpillars. The rabbits have decimated this area and the morning glory that would usually provide a great place for chrysalis building just hasn’t been able to survive. We moved a viny moonflower that was doing well in a different flower bed and transplanted some lilies and alysium as well. Hoping that will help the next round of caterpillars. Here’s proof of life of our 2 chrysalis! We’ll call them Soul and Iris.