Happy Birthday my Beauties

Such excitement when I came home from shopping just after midday……..I noticed one monarch butterfly hanging under a desiccated courgette leaf and, next to it, the remains of a delicate chrysalis. I rushed inside to get my camera and, as I was doing so, I saw another butterfly drying its wings on the thyme bush. Then, whilst trying to take photos of the two relatively still butterflies, a third monarch fluttered about us. It was resting a lot in the sun and taking only short flights, so I suppose it was newly emerged too.   I managed to get photos of the two resting butterflies .As I write this post, I can see the three butterflies testing their wings in the gentle breeze along my driveway and, from time to time, alighting on whatever plant takes their fancy.  Imagine the freedom of finding your wings for the first time and being able to explore further than your swan plant world. It’s sunny and warm with a pale blue sky and a sweet, light whisper of wind. What a day to start a new life. Sensational.  Here is the butterfly under the courgette leaf. Note the old chrysalis to the side.Emerged

The butterfly is slowly moving to a sunnier spot.Climbing

This is the second butterfly I saw.  It had moved from the thyme to the zinnias where there was more sunshine.Zinnia Sunbed

After a while it flew to a hanging basket of heuchera where it rested and I waited patiently for it to spread its wings. My patience was rewarded.Spread your wings and fly

For those of you wondering about the status of the lone long ranger who set up home next to my  door, here is a photo taken today of the chrysalis. You can see that it is now darkened which, I believe, means it won’t be long before a butterfly appears.Not long now

Considering that the other monarchs seemed to take at least a month to emerge from their chrysalis forms, I think I now know why this caterpillar took such a long journey to attach itself to the brickwork on the warmest side of the house. It knew that time was getting short if it wanted to be ‘born’ before the first cold days of autumn. If only we humans were as responsive and concerned about climate change and how it affects our survival.

Happy Birthday my Beauties on this, the first day of Autumn.

© silkannthreades

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41 thoughts on “Happy Birthday my Beauties

  1. Pingback: Survival of the fittest… ? | silkannthreades

  2. Leya

    Lucky you to have been through this celebration of new beautiful butterflies coming to life! Monarchs are among the absolutely most beautiful butterflies I know. Well captured too! I think I would have been so terribly nervous that my photos would have been all blurry…Magnificent.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I took lots of blurry photos, you can be sure of that! I am wondering if I will plant for the monarchs again this year. Perhaps I will. It was fun having them around.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thanks.I read in our newspaper today that because so many homes and gardens were destroyed in our earthquakes, there has not been the usual amount of food available for monarch caterpillars, and consequently there are fewer monarch butterflies around than there used to be.The butterflies rely on us to plant their swan plant food supply for them.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Me too. Of course, I made it nice and easy for myself by placing the swan plants right next to my bedroom window. If I am feeling lazy, I can sit in bed and be vigilant 🙂

      Reply
  3. lensandpensbysally

    Truly, this “event” is a wonder of nature, and to be witness is to tuck a treasure trove of memories into a safe place. Your images are recorded memories that can spark further emotions. Lovely.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you. This morning I woke up and looked out my bedroom window and there were 4 new butterflies resting on the foliage, warming up their wings. More lovely images but these ones were only recorded in my head.

      Reply
  4. ordinarygood

    It is the most wonderful process. No matter our age the transformation always delights us.
    Great photos. Your “door-keeper” is warming up to emerge as the chrysalis darkens…

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      It is wonderful. Your mention of the word “door keeper” reminds me how much I enjoy driving along one of our main streets where many of the old houses have brightly painted butterflies attached to their frontages. ‘Frontages’? Is that a word? It is now.

      Reply
  5. Clanmother

    The genesis of beauty! You were there when it happened and I can feel the excitement through the photos! Thank you for generously sharing the moment! Don’t forget to charge your batteries. We are all waiting for another miracle….

    Reply
  6. Sara

    Fantastic shots! You are lucky to get to witness stuff like this. It really is wonderful. I can’t wait till it gets warmer around where I live and I can start planting gardens and attracting birds and bugs. I’m excited. 😀

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thanks for the video link. I don’t think we ever see monarch butterflies gathered like that in New Zealand. That would be really something to see.

      Reply
  7. Mrs. P

    Hooray…Happy Birthday!

    As I read your post I realized that one of the exciting things about blogging is that we get to see knew things, meet new people and learn stuff ,too! As you said you were preparing for fall, we are preparing for spring. It’s funny how these things slip your mind until someone says something about them.

    Well, I can’t quite tell but it appears that all three are females. I’ll send a link that shows the difference and you can update us when you get more pictures. http://adver-net.com/monpics.html

    I also learned that Monarchs in New Zealand have their own migration pattern, not like the ones here which start in Canada and go down to Mexico. They have been able to tag them and are in fact working on a similar project with the ones in NZ. The tricky…and clever part is that they only live one migration. I think it’s amazing that their descendants instinctively know the route to take!

    I was lucky enough to live close enough to one of their migration rest stops and took my students to see them. It was amazing to look up to the trees and where leaves should be, there were butterflies. Here is a video clip so you can see how many there are…on one branch. Now imagine hundreds of trees.

    The kids also got to dress in costume and represent the four stages, learn about milkweed and let butterflies aloft on their head, shoulder etc.

    Now, I am late for work…I had to share! Oh Happy Day! 🙂 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Oh dear, sorry to make you late for work but you have given me some very interesting information. Thank you.The monarchs are incredible creatures. I am in awe of their abilities.

      Reply
  8. KatherinesDaughter

    Here in the Northeast USA we are leaving winter behind and welcoming Spring. It is truly a pleasure to see your beautiful butterflies. I can’t wait until we begin to see them here. Thank you for brightening my morning!

    Reply
  9. Eugenie

    Stunning photography hralding autumn. This is third I have replied so hope th moderator. ? Gets this to you, !

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thanks. The butterflies today made me feel better about the beginning of autumn. Summer has been so warm this year, it is hard to let it go.

      Reply
  10. utesmile

    How beautiful to see those butterflies, Great you captured them and share the beautiful pictures with us. Thank you. For you it starts to be Autumn, for us I do hope Spring will start….. soon…

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I was so excited that I didn’t miss the whole event. It would have been fun to see them emerging from the chrysalis. I am sure Spring will be with you very soon; there must be some small signs already.

      Reply
  11. pleisbilongtumi

    Wow. Those are beautiful!…. Congratulation for witnessing their birth and your patience was really rewarded. Great photo series, Gall and I thank you for sharing it with us.

    Reply

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