Monarch Butterfly always come to our garden every year in late Summer or early Autumn. In order to help them undergo metamorphosis and to watch its steps as a part of our home-schooling science program, we plant swan plants, also known as milkweed, in our garden, to attract them, provide them food, and then lay eggs. (Have a read my journal of Raising Monarch Butterfly)
The curiosity is building up when we see butterflies are fluttering over the swan plants, and stayed there for hours, to sip the nectar and lay eggs. My children will count tiny eggs and watch them every day until they are hatched to be a tiny larvae, growing to be a big and fat caterpillar. Fascinating, really!
Here are some of the magical moments I have captured to mark the days of science as a life-long learning of science, nature and life cycle, as well to be aware of clean and green environment as to help maintaining Monarch butterflies generations and preparing them to migrate later on.
My little girl is always fascinated by butterflies and here, she's trying to get her to move to her finger tip. Yes, I keep reminding her that she has to do it delicately.
The caterpillars are poisonous to other insects, marked with its yellow and black stripes. They were allowed to touch them but they have to wash their hands immediately afterward.
This is the steps a caterpillar turns into a green pupa. It will split its head and out come this green wax, from head right through the top. It will wriggle for quite sometime (which is amusing) in order to build its contemporary home before it turns black.
Now, this is the process when the pupa has blackened and is ready to hatch out. We, again, watched this very moment. I can't tell you more than the photos can. It's just miraculous! Amazing!
When they are just newborn, they'll be 'wet' and delicate. They'll hang onto their empty chrysalises until they are ready to fly. Sometimes, we have to move them to a safer place, because we have cats around. They like the Buddleja plant, which grows in the back of the shed. We often place them there for their first food while strengthening themselves to get ready to fly and migrate. Until we meet again, beauties!