Saturday, April 16, 2011

First Monarchs Sighted

The weather broke this afternoon after cloudy conditions for 2 days and a heavy 2.4 inch rain. I went down to the milkweed patch to check on the condition of my plants and saw at least 3 female monarchs laying eggs.

My plants range from 1 inch to 7 inches tall. The Monarchs chose the smallest to deposit their eggs. The plant should be around a foot tall when the caterpillars hatch out and have plenty of tender leaves to eat.

These monarchs are pretty worn looking indicating that they have traveled far and are at the end of their short life. Monarchs in general left the Mexican forest three weeks ago. It is conceivable that the really worn butterfly that I took a picture of could actually have been one that overwintered in Mexico. She seemed to respond to me when I said, buenas dias!

The first picture is the freshly deposited egg next to my finger. You can enlarge the image by clicking on it. The second picture is the female laying an egg on a young plant. I expect caterpillars in time for the opening of the flight house in May. Come see them!

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