my royalty: my Monarch / by Carey

Shawn has joked that I get the Monarch Caterpillars for myself, and not for the kids.  He thinks he's joking, but truthfully, I think he's right.  Of course the kids enjoy the caterpillars, and then enjoy watching the Chrysalis change, and finally enjoy the emergence and flying away.  But I am enthralled and fascinated by the entire process.  Feeding and maintaining the habitats of the various creatures we've brought into our home over the last two years or so (lizards, hermit crabs, crawfish, turtles, etc.), has been an annoying burden.  I've done it, because I want this for the kids.  But it is annoying.  However, caring for these caterpillars has been no burden.  I've loved every moment of it.  (which, if you know me and my anti bug philosophy, is quite extraordinary).

This May we bought four caterpillars for us.  A friend raises them and sells them for us to adore, watch, protect and set free and uses the funds for a charity.  I really hope we can get some milkweed to grow in our yard!!!  One of the caterpillars was actually just the egg on the milkweed leaf.  That was my favorite.  We watched as the egg changed.  We watched as he hatched was soooooo tiny.  We watched as he grew and grew and grew and turned into a fat little sucker.  (Dude, these things can eat!!! and poop!)   We watched as he hung in his "J".  We watched as he did his final skin shedding and turned into his Chrysalis (we saw every one turn into the Chrysalis this time!).  We watched as the Chrysalis changed.  And for this little guy, we expect he emerged from the Chrysalis a day or so after we left for the beach.  So we didn't get to see him emerge, but we did see the others.  It's such an amazing thing to be part of.

Our month of May was crazy and raising these little guys was part of it.  I only managed to capture this one image of one of our little beauties, before he fluttered away.  I didn't even manage any caterpillar images, but here(link) are some from last year.  I wonder when the kids will outgrow the fascination with them, and when I'll have to face the embarrassing confession that I still want to raise the caterpillars, all on my own.  However, I still cannot bring myself to touch the caterpillars.  Gross.

Newly emerged Monarch Butterfly by Carey Pace

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I shot these with my D90  Nikon 85mm f1.8