Posts Tagged 'butterflies'



Statue of Butterflies

Under each wingpit, a chrysalis. At the tips of the wings, emptied husks of chrysalises. On the left wing, a chrysalis and brand new Monarch. Harder to see, but way down below the drape of rocky dress, another ripening chrysalis. Pictures from Saturday. Yesterday, I counted two butterflies and half a dozen chrysalises in process in this patch; the nearby feeding station of Buddleia, butterfly bush, had four more adults on it.This one looks like it was gotten to by something.It is that time of year when a walker on the numbered avenues of Brooklyn sees Monarchs fluttering overhead, at cornice height, heading south-westerly.The flight looks so weak, I almost feel like I can catch up. Almost.

Death Comes for the Monarch

There are some ants on the remains of this Monarch larva. Waste not, want not. I’ve seen a couple caterpillars in this position, suspended in preparation for starting the pupa, who didn’t make it. The Spined Soldier Bugs (nymphs and adults) are one enemy, but I wonder what other creatures or diseases strike these plump cats down. Remember, milkweed essentially fills a caterpillar with toxins, yet obviously the Spined Soldier, among others, can handle that.The rain too has made a contribution to the dissolution of some corpses. But I must be feeling optimistic:
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Do you know the story of the Callery Pear? It’s another invasive nightmare.

Monarchs: The Next Generation

Chrysalis down! It was still attached, so I positioned this leaf in the thicket so that the pupa would hang down.Half of the newly emerged adults seen Friday.Larval stage still at it.This early instar was as long as a dime across.Milkweeds make butterflies. These have been completely stripped of leaves. This tiny patch had two dozen caterpillars on it two weeks ago.

Return of the Return of Monarchy

I hope you didn’t think you were going to get away from these things, did you? I’ve had an unparalleled experience watching these critters for two-three weeks now. Missed all this in school, by the way, but must say, the wild is more appealing. A variation on the pattern; I’ve seen similar once before.
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Already on shaky ground truth-wise, Kavanaugh firmly denies, following his rapey boss Trump’s strategy of deny, deny, deny… while, paradoxically, Republicans insist that what a white prep school boy does at 17 doesn’t count anymore. Pollitt discusses. Remember, Trump called for the execution of teenage rapists (they were innocent, by the way; of course they were also black) and it’s standard Republican strategy to brand sex offenders for life. Meanwhile, Kavanaugh dissented in a decision to let a 17-year-old in immigrant detention have the abortion she wanted: he wanted to force her to have a child.

Is it too much to say that forcing girls and women is a through-line in the ideology of this repellent radical misogynist?

Revenge of the Monarch

This is the whole point, right? A new butterfly, hiding under a leaf next to her chrysalis husk. She’ll dry off, harden up, get ready for the world. And what a world! Is this the generation that is Mexico-bound? I’m guessing so since it’s already mid-September. How does she know? Remarkably, these long-distance, south-bound migrants can live up to nine months, compared to the 2-5 weeks of summer generations. How do other caterpillars know not to eat the leaf this pupa is hanging from, or do they? Two more. My eyes are getting better at this. Both suspended from the milkweed leaf’s midrib. Did they do it at the same time or did one follow the other, as if it was a good place, or is it just random? Monarch sex determination is set at fertilization. There’s a way a tell if the pupa is male or female, evidently, but you have to look closely, and I’m not handling any of these since I follow the Prime Directive. Here’s a Spined Soldier Bug adult sucking the life out of one of the caterpillars. I’ve been seeing the nymph stage assassins at work, but this is the first adult I’ve seen.Saw about three dozen live caterpillars in action, September 6th, overcast hot and grossly humid, and a trio of dead or dying.

Realm of the Monarchs

A brand new female. Will she make it down to Mexico?We’re celebrating Monarch’s all this week. But don’t let my anecdotal enthusiasm delude you. Monarchs in a frightful state.

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AFSC’s guide to civil disobedience.

Chrysalis

The pupal stage of the Monarch is suspended a cremaster attached to a silk base.Isn’t it amazing? Begs the question why we think we need religion and other fantasies when life is so interesting.In a morning of ferocious heat, I counted 19 caterpillars and three pupae or chrysalises in a patch of milkweed and other plants. I’m sure there were more.The colors of the scales on the wings are the last thing to develop.Here’s an empty husk of a chrysalis. If you plant it, they’ll come… sometimes. Green-Wood has made some effort to put in a few patches of Common Milkweed. It’s a messy affair: devoured, shat upon, not at all the landscaping you would expect in a traditional cemetery. Our hats go off to them.Two of the three pupae I spotted were on a human structure. That probably made them easier to see. This late instar caterpillar is heading down-stem. Did it not like this grass as a place to anchor and transform?

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ACT UP’s index on civil disobedience.


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