Planet of the Monarchs

Yes, please! A veritable orgy of caterpillars. I counted 47 in Green-Wood on the morning of September 5th. I have never seen so many, anywhere.I went early to avoid the heat, but phew, it was still pretty beastly. Obviously, I can’t survey the milkweed further in this tight little meadow. There are probably more caterpillars to be found within.Of note, another nearby patch of milkweed isn’t showing nearly the same level of activity as this one. I wonder why? It gets more shade: could the female butterflies, who lay one egg per plant, skip it more often for this patch, which is in the sun all day long?Found one new pupa/chrysalis, for total of three in process.Many of the caterpillars were late-stage, the big fat ones in the last of five instars before pupation. This one has begun to pupate, anchoring and turning up.24 hours later. Note the two silk anchors; I haven’t seen these before. This chrysalis is high up above the meadow’s average height, so is this extra protection from the wind? 30 hours after that, those two silk strands were gone.But not everybody gets that far.Here’s another goner. Note the killer, a nymph Spined Soldier Bug. True bugs suck, literally. And the other living (munching) caterpillar nearby; these larval stage Monarchs have six simple eyes, but don’t see very well.Another shout-out to Green-Wood for planting milkweed. The end result looks like hell, but as is so often the case, looks are deceiving. This is paradise.

The CCR’s legal briefing on civil disobedience.

5 Responses to “Planet of the Monarchs”

  1. 1 alaspooryorick September 14, 2018 at 9:27 am

    Email campaign to thank Green-Wood for milkweed! suggestions for whom to contact?

  2. 5 Bernie Kasper September 15, 2018 at 9:45 am

    That is a sight for sore eyes, great blog !!

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