red flannel pantry

creative pursuits in the kitchen, garden, library and sewing room

monarch caterpillars on milkweed

While mowing the lawn yesterday, Daughter #2 made an exciting discovery: eight monarch caterpillars munching away on the swamp milkweed!

We watched them for a long time, marveling at their ability to eat while suspended upside down and admiring their vivid tiger stripes.

When my kids were younger, we would sometimes put a monarch caterpillar along with a short stick and some milkweed leaves in a mason jar with holes punched in the lid. We would watch the caterpillar form its chrysalis, which looked like a little green jewel case. After about two weeks, the chrysalis would begin to darken and we knew to unscrew the lid–the butterfly was about to emerge.

This time though we are leaving them be, but we’ll watch for their chrysalises around the milkweed.

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