On July 30th, I found this nice large caterpillar on our milkweed.
By August 3rd, the caterpillar formed her chrysalis.
Amazingly, on August 10th, I was greeted by the flutter of wings! So quick!
We took the butterfly outside, but she was not ready to fly.
On the following day, she was eager to be free.
Although it is a beautiful experience, I am not sure if we will continue with our captive rearing activity. My first caterpillar of the year, which went to my neighbor, died. It could have been either “black death” or parasites. Then, my third caterpillar, the tiny one, shriveled up and died. I am not sure if it is wise to take in more caterpillars.
But, Nature seems to have made this decision for me. I have not seen any more caterpillars. By this time last year I had 8 caterpillars, 1 chrysalis, and 1 egg. Population decline is quantifiable.