This has been a bad year for Monarchs. They have been officially declared as “endangered“. I have seen the numbers dwindle. So far, I have only had one successful butterfly eclose.
I was feeling disheartened about the decline in population. However, today was a day full of joy and hope. I spotted a small caterpillar straddling a milkweed plant and an opuntia cactus.
As I was collecting milkweed for the caterpillar’s enclosure, I spotted another one! This one was a bit larger.
Then, amazingly, I found a third one forming a chrysalis beneath a milkweed leaf! I decided to leave this one alone – best not to disturb it during this transformative stage.
Finally, to my utter delight, I spotted a fourth caterpillar. This one is gigantic! It looks like it will form a chrysalis soon. I opted to bring this one indoors for safety.
Seeing these four Monarch caterpillars has renewed my hope in the survival of their species. Please, continue to cultivate milkweed! Let’s not let them go extinct in our lifetime.