Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Whole Story on the Butterfly

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!)


  1. I loved this post so much, thanks for sharing this it is just amazing to me about the butterflies and I love seeing the when they are done with the cocoon cycle. We got to go to the museum close to here a ways back and see the butterflies being hatched and flying all over the place. I hope you are doing well!

  2. Awesome photos of the butterflies, Diana. You should send them to National Geographic. Maybe they would pay you for them.

  3. Beautiful post! I love the butterfly's cycle of life. Monarchs are my favorite; I planted milkweed in my backyard just for them. The little caterpillars are great; I love watching them!

    I really like the last shot in particular; not only does it have two generations of butterflies, but it has a tiny milkweed seed above the caterpillar, too!

    Again, great post! Love it.

  4. Thanks for the great pictures, I'm going to share them with my grandson, he is curious about how buttterflies come from a worm.

    A picture is worth a thousand stumbling words of explaination from Grandpa. ;c)

  5. Fabulous Photos to go with a marvelous story. Maybe you should do a photo book on the Butterfly.

  6. Beautiful photos, this would make a wonderful children's book. A few more pages, and it would be done. Thanks for sharing.

  7. What a fantastic place!! Awesome to see all the stages of the life of the wondering if the Larva I photographed is a Monarch after seeing those antenna, it didnt have antenna--Possibly it was Something Else!!
    Great post!!!!

  8. I bet you could win something with that pic of the clear chrysalis. That is WAY cool.


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