Butterfly Gardens: Wings of Wonder

I know this is an old story, but I couldn’t help myself and wanted to tell it again with these photos. This circle of life wonder is why I don’t need religion. Anyway, it started a couple weeks ago. I posted on the Monarch caterpillars crawling around the milkweed plants in my front yard in September. Click HERE to see them.
About two weeks ago, a friend spotted several chrsyslis dangling from a nearby Mexican Lobelia plant. They were translucent and had this shimmering ring of tiny white, yellow, black and golden beads around the rim.
But if you look really closely, about a week later, you can see the silhouette of one of the butterfly wings. See how the necklace stops? You might be able to come back to this photo after the next, and it will make more sense.

A couple days later. Okay, now do you see it? Is that just the coolest thing ever or what?
This is the next morning in the bright sunlight, taken moments before he or she burst out.
It’s a BOY! (Click HERE to see how I know the difference between male and female Monarchs. Thank you Monarch Watch!)
Checked back a couple minutes later, and boom, arrival. I missed the actual break-out.
Hanging out, just collecting himself, getting used to the new set of wings.
Then he or she fluttered over to a nearby shrub. Can you see the antenna?
Testing out those new wings, open close, open close.
The color was even stronger on top of the wings. (You can tell this is a male by the little black ovals in one of the black vein lines in the middle of the hind, or bottom, wings, and because the black “veins” are thinner than with females.)  The butterfly then fluttered away in search of the perfect milkweed plant to lay down the next generation.
I believe!
Click HERE to visit an official Monarch garden in Laguna Beach.
If you want to start your own butterfly garden, click HERE to visit Monarch Watch, an organization that supports the restoration of Monarch habitat to combat their declining numbers.

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