Wednesday, February 8, 2012

2.8.12 Rainbow, Monarch, Chrysalis

We had a small rain shower yesterday, and with it came a beautiful rainbow.


It really was more beautiful than in the photo. Everything was so fresh, clean and shiny.


It wasn’t much rain, and we need it, but it was better than nothing.

There are no flowers other than a few of blooms on the Bottlebrush. I have a drip on it and it is helping.

I do have a couple of Milkweed with blooms. Right now there is a Monarch Butterfly on it.

I was pruning the Bougainville bush and she was sitting on the wire fence. It is still pretty cool out and the Milkweed is in the sun, so I picked her up and put her on the blossoms. It looks like she is feeding.


I have several Giant Milkweed plants that will not take a frost. They also had Monarch and Queen Caterpillars on them. Before we went out on the boat we took clear vinyl shower curtains and enclosed the small front porch to act as a greenhouse for them. The 2 sides can be rolled up, as they are now. The lower part is clear visqueen, though not very clear and is the reason we used the shower curtains.

The top is open at the rafters, We left it that way, even though there is heat loss, so the Butterflies could leave when they were ready to. I found over a dozen empty Chrysalis.

As you can see, there aren’t very many leaves left on the plants. I had to buy 4 Milkweed plants, like the one the Monarch is on, yesterday, to feed the 6 Caterpillars I found in the yard when we got home. 2 of the plants can be seen at the bottom of the photo…the leafy ones, and they have buds.


Normally one of the Giant Milkweed plants will be so full of leaves they practically fill the Butterfly House that Jim built for me.

Now it looks pretty empty.


The 2 big pots in the back (looks like stalks) and the 2 little ones in the front are some of the Milkweed I dug up and potted when I got back. We’ve had nice weather and they were leafing out. That is where the 6 caterpillars came from. All Monarchs. I did find one tiny Queen on the little plant in the red pot.

I was afraid the 4 new plants wouldn’t be enough to feed the 6 big caterpillars, but 1 was in a “j” when we got back and is now a Chrysalis and 3 have gone to the top and are in “j”s. They will be in Chrysalis today. The other 2 should be heading up today or tomorrow and that will leave just the little Queen, unless there are eggs that I didn’t see.


Go to  and you can watch the process of pupating. It is very interesting.

There were 3 Chrysalis on the plants inside the “greenhouse”. One emerged yesterday. A Queen. I didn’t even think to grab the camera.

This one looks like it should emerge today. 014cs

This one possibly tomorrow. It’s looking darker than it did yesterday.


Go to   and you can watch a couple of Monarchs emerge.

I really enjoy watching the caterpillars go from the size of a pin head to full grown and into a “j”. When they shed their skin they seem to double in size in a day. During the warm weather it only takes about 9 or 10 days. Same for the change from Chrysalis to emerging Butterfly. As the fall weather and cooler temperatures arrived, it took as long as 12 days.



  1. Fascinating to watch all this new life unfolding.
    Such beautiful butterflies.

  2. Is it spring already? I so love watching your butterfly ranch. Nice set up for when you can't be around.

  3. That is a lovely rainbow but you are right, they are all better in life. I think a rainbow includes the experience that accompanies it. There is either the surprise discovery or the excitement when we realize that sunlight has burst into a rain shower causing us to run outside to search for the rainbow we know must be there.


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