I've moved on to the Elkton Community Education Center in Elkton, OR where the WINs have a gathering each year. My favorite part of the center is the Butterfly House. They release the butterflies on Labor Day, so I hurried up to get some pictures.
They have a few Painted Ladies, but most of the butterflies are Monarchs.
Monarchs begin as this tiny, tiny egg, laid on milkweed.
After 4 days or so, a very hungry caterpillar emerges.
The caterpillar in only the size of an eyelash to start with, but eats and eats the yummy milkweed for 2 weeks, until it is 2 inches long and pretty plump.
In the process of all this eating, it sheds its skin 5 times.
After the 2 weeks of eating, the caterpillar hangs from a branch and turns itself into a beautiful jade-colored crysalis.
Then, after another 10 days of just hanging around, the chrysalis turns clear -
And the adult monarch emerges!
After it dries out, it hurries over to drink some nectar.
And the whole cycle begins all over again. (Look out, Junior is watching!)