Sunday, May 1, 2011

Monarch Eggs Hatching

I do believe that I work harder on the weekends than I do during the week, which means only one thing--I get no rest. This weekend was no exception, especially with the giant honeydew list my wife Martha had for me. Actually, it was OK with me.

Have you ever heard of the saying,"the shoemaker's daughter goes barefoot"? For me, it is a common occurrence. There is so much weeding and fixing and cussing going on here at the farm, that I have little time to do those things right next to the house. Martha strongly suggested that we do them today, and how could I resist her puppy dog pleas.

So, I put off working on stringing up the hops, at least for the first half of the day , and got busy on her list. All was not that bad. As I was watering the milkweed seedlings I have growing here, I was able to get some really good shots of some monarch eggs and caterpillar hatching.

The monarchs, during the last two weeks, have laid hundreds of eggs on my milkweed and the cats are emerging and eating there way to wings. I got some good still shots of them emerging from the egg. The first meal they have is the egg shell.

I am showing three pictures here, the first on is of a monarch egg close to hatching, note the black head at the top of the egg sack. The second one shows the newly hatched caterpillar after it has eaten it's way through the egg shell . Red arrow is the egg shell, yellow arrow is the newly emerged caterpillar. The third shot shows just how small the caterpillar is. I am looking forward to opening the butterfly flight house in a couple of weeks, with butterflies, caterpillars, and eggs galore. Be sure to come and see us.

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