This week, Amy has challenged us to show photos we have taken at home.
During this almost six weeks of sheltering in place I find myself spending more and more time outside appreciating the natural beauty all around me.
We’ve had many birds at our feeder this spring – chickadees, house finches, cardinals, hummingbirds and others. My favorite is a pair of painted buntings that come by every day. So far I’ve only been able to get photos of the male.
The cardinals hang around under the feeder in hopes of finding fallen seeds.
Monarch butterflies are continuing to come through the garden. I haven’t found any more caterpillars and the milkweed they stripped is coming back strong with new growth.
I first spotted a Monarch Chrysalis in my garden about three weeks ago. I’ve been checking on it several times a day and after 14 days I realized this one was not going to make it.
Being at home for six weeks has made me realize how much I have to be grateful for. I am so grateful to live in a home where I can go outside into my yard to enjoy the natural world. I’m grateful I can keep in touch with friends and family who are far away. I’m grateful for my health and the health of my family and friends. I’m grateful I am physically able to get out and exercise in the fresh air.
Just two days after I posted about the Monarch caterpillars in my butterfly garden the caterpillars are continuing to devour every leaf on several of my milkweed plants. One bite at a time, they chew up a leaf and move on to the next. In just a few days they have stripped some of the plants until there is nothing left but bare stems.
Yesterday morning I counted about 10 caterpillars. One had attached itself in the hose reel on the edge of the flower bed. It was preparing to transform into a chrysalis.
A little while later I settled down in my chair under the arbor to read a book. I was facing the hose reel but was so engrossed in the book I didn’t look up for about 30 minutes. When I finally glanced over at the caterpillar I saw that while I was reading it had become a chrysalis.
Today there are more caterpillars and less milkweed leaves. They will continue taking their bites until they are full grown and ready to transform into a chrysalis.
Meanwhile, there are still Monarch butterflies flying around in pairs doing their mating dance. I’ve had a hard time getting a picture but I managed to catch this one drinking nectar on a Mexican Sunflower.
I’ll be keeping my eye on the chrysalis and hope to see a butterfly emerge in about 7 to 10 days.
We are in the middle of the butterfly breeding season. I’ve seen pairs of Monarch butterflies flying around our yard recently and the females have been laying their eggs on milkweed leaves in my small backyard butterfly garden.
This morning I counted seven caterpillars on the milkweed including two different pairs munching on the leaves.
After about two weeks of eating, the caterpillar will be full grown and will make it’s crysalis. Approximately 10 days later the monarch butterfly will emerge.
One of my favorite Willie Nelson songs is “On the Road Again”. I can’t hear it without thinking about how much fun we had being on the road on one of our many RV trips. I look forward to the day when we’ll be able to go on a road again.