Thursday, December 5, 2013

November MCats Part 4 - Chrysalis

We were surprised to have Monarch caterpillars in November.  To have five of them hang around was even more surprising, since that hadn't happened (that we were aware of) before.  When the five were found hanging, I hoped to be able to capture the transformation process of at least one of them.  The first to transform was the one on the underside of the birdbath.  I checked during the day until it got too dark to see, but by morning it had done it's thing and I missed it.  Same with the next three.  The fifth and final one I had the potential to capture, I checked in the morning, came inside, walked back out to check an hour and a half later... and it was still dripping wet, but already a chrysalis.  Missed it again!  Since they are hard to see, I marked each area with blue tape, so I wouldn't lose track of them. 

We had a cold snap and hubby built a plywood shelter around the entire bed to try to protect them.  When the weather warmed, he took it down and they were all still intact.  We've had several days of warm weather and there have been no changes.  Now we are expecting the arctic blast and I don't know if there will be a part 5.  I've debated bringing them inside, but would prefer them to remain where they are.  If I did bring them in and nothing happened, I think I would feel responsible if they are done with.  I think I'd much rather Mother Nature take the blame!
















What would you do, leave them, or bring them in?


27 comments:

Lynn said...

Gosh what a difficult position to be in, if you bring them in what then? Is there a butterfly farm near you or a help line for this sort of thing? good luck. and these are stunning photos, thanks for sharing them I've been waiting ;-).

mama .bonnie said...

THAT.IS.SO.COOL!!!!!!!!!
I know that in the spring many of the classrooms around me buy these suckers and have them 'hatch' in a netted enclosure then release them after a few days. I don't see why you couldn't do the same thing :o/

Hartwood Roses said...

Nighty night little caterpillars.

Sally said...

I wouldn't know what to do, that's for sure. But, more stunning photo's, each and every one! :)

xoxo

George said...

These are marvelous photos. I'm not sure of what I would do, but my first inclination would be to leave them where they were.

TexWisGirl said...

it is just an amazing process, and to see them form to this stage is wonderful. i agree with you - i'd not want to mess with them and leave them as nature intended. if they make it, all the better...

Nellie said...

Oh, my! I could hardly give you any opinion about whether to leave them or bring them in. It would be so sad to see them succumb to the cold weather, but moving might disturb the entire process.

Help! Mama Remote... said...

Oh MY Goodness. I wouldn't know what to do. I know my kids would want to bring it in. The poor thing would be doomed either way.

Deborah said...

You guys are so incredibly sweet! I love love seeing this process. All the stuff that happens all around us and I mostly miss out on let alone even think about it. Love this woman.

Karen said...

Aren't they beautiful? Like little jewels...

Saara said...

Wow! I agree with the nature.. But it is easy for me to say from this northern winter, no problems like that. :) Everything is sooner or later under some kind of ice.

Vicky said...

Gorgeous shots of them! I'm curious to maybe go check and see if there is a youtube video of the process- just to actually see it! So cool! Will be awaiting what you decide to do- I'd be googling away to see if you can glean any info out there :) Thank goodness you don't have snow like us!!

LL Cool Joe said...

You got some great macro shots. I think I would leave them where they are too, but it's a tough decision, and I'm glad I'm not making it! :D

YeamieWaffles said...

Incredible, so excited to see what comes out of there, this is amazing!

troutbirder said...

I usually go with "don't mess with Mother Nature" (except in rare circumstances like injury or marauding feral cats....

Vicki Lane said...

A dilemma -- if they hatched inside, and it was too cold to turn them out, what would they eat?

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

I think I'd leave them there and let nature do what nature does, but this is so fascinating to see them!

SweetMarie said...

As much as I help wildlife, I always prefer to try and let nature takes it's course. That being said, I would have probably left them. Your photos are crystal clear and just beautiful!

Linda said...

Guess I'd google it!

Weekend-Windup said...

Nice to see the pupa. Long time back i have seen this...

Betty Manousos said...

very cool!
they're beautiful! aren't they?

big hugs!

Betty Manousos said...

indeed a dilemma...i think i would probably leave them and let nature do what nature does.

Ami said...

Nothing I'm aware of says you can't go out with some scraps of old sheets or whatever and wrap up your plants to keep them from freezing....

Or you could knit little sleeping bags for the "cattlepidders"...

:-D

middle child said...

I saw that it happened and don't know why but when I check "posts"..it shows. I can edit, view etc. Guess I'll have to try to remember what the heck I wrote!!!!

Barbara said...

I'd leave them and blame it on Mother Nature. But if hubby could build another box, I think that would help! Hope they make it!

Furry Bottoms said...

So so so beautiful and clear. And you spotted that little thing under a bird bath!!! I want to get a bird bath I think it would give me more photo ops!!

Margaret Benbow said...

What fascinating pictures. In our northern state (bitterly cold all winter) the cocoons form under milkweed leaves and a lot of them seem to make it...a miracle, yes.
P.S. Ms. A, at first I expected your posts to be sarcastic because of your blog name, but they're always smart and sweet instead! And you take fantastic pictures.