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Friday, November 03, 2006

The Monarchy

We have a Chrysalis!!!

Well, actually we have two!!!
When we moved into this house, we inherited 4 swan plants. Two were ready to die, but thanks to some relocating, they are both thriving. Anyway, as is usual for spring, the butterflies were zooming around, laying their eggs, as they do. And the eggs hatched, as they also do.
Sadly, two trees are also inhabited by wasps, so for every load of eggs that are laid, we lose approximately 50% :(
But Joy of Joys, we have two chrysalises! So I will document their progress by taking a picture every day! The one on the left will from here on be referred to as "Crystal" and the one on the right will be "Christopher".

The weirdest thing happened, on this swan plant. Yesterday evening when I took these photos, we had 12 caterpillars including the two chrysalises, and three upside down caterpillars (getting ready to chrysalize), like the picture up the top. This morning on my way down the driveway I looked, and two had disappeared.

Now last night was a very still night, so they didn't get blown off the plant, and infact the entire leaves had just disappeared. I thought perhaps the other caterpillars just ate the leaves close to the stem and the leaves fell, but there's nothing on the ground under the plants either.

When I checked yesterday evening, the sun was about to go down and it was very cool, so I don't expect they were attacked by birds or wasps.

So where did they go?

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