Get yourself some milkweed!

Milkweed is the only plant Monarch caterpillars can eat. Monarchs will flit and float their way over to your MW and lay eggs. Once you’ve got a caterpillar bring it in and continue to clip your weed to feed it.

Our caterpillar has been getting fat and happy for about a week. During the growing process he would periodically perch on the side of the glass and molt. The first time I thought he was sick because his skin changed color and then there would be this little pile left behind. The old skin. Eew. Change can be gross.

After he was ready he perched himself to the side of the jar I’ve got him in. He sort of spun a little web. After he’d secured himself he just hung there. He seemed to be taking some really deep breaths. There was shuddering every now and then. This is it big guy. You are about to under go some big changes, miraculous changes, so that you can be made beautiful.

He hung there in the “j” shape for a little over 12 hours. Every now and then he’d take the deep breaths and his body would expand and contract like an accordian. Then he would relax again and wait. About an hour before he “made” (became?) a chrysalis, his body was almost bubbling and it would throb. He did some little crunches every now and then. (Trust me honey, you can’t start doing those the night before you put on the party dress. You’ve got to start that weeks and weeks before.) And then he finally just straightened out of the J and slowly his skin splits and he wiggles and riggles into this fleshy green pod. Just like that!

The chrysalis is a work of art in itself. It’s like a piece of Jade. There is a seam across the top that is sealed with dots of onyx and gold. Just gorgeous. But it’s not over! Now, safe in his chrysalis who knows what is happening in there. It seems a more gentle and safer part of the big change. Can’t wait for the grand finale!

This gives me hope in the process.

Michal – Houston

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