It seems like forever and a day since I last shared photos of the Monarch caterpillars. So thank you for your patience! I am really excited to share these macro photos of the Monarch butterfly emerging from its chrysalis. That week of my life was crazy — we spent hours watching for signs that the butterflies would be emerging soon (also called “eclosing”). I learned that the top part of the chrysalis gets very bumpy and “slinky like” — rather than being smooth. Yes, indeed it does. But that’s still not really an accurate measure of how long you have, because the whole process takes time.
I was blessed to be able to witness four of the Monarch butterflies as they eclosed. We “missed” another one, and the last one was a sneaky little guy. Fortunately I’d turned on the video camera before putting my attention elsewhere, so it was caught on film. All together, I photographed three different butterflies eclosing. The others I watched. And let me tell you, this miracle didn’t get old or become more mundane. It’s amazing how the butterfly climbs out, and interesting how small its wings are, and how swollen its abdomen is. The wings took a lot longer to dry and “grow” to full size than I expected. And the butterflies didn’t fly away immediately. We put them outside within hours, but they stayed nearby for hours or even days longer.
My boys are set on doing this again next year. I think the self-started milkweed plants in my garden bed may have to stay. We’ll see what spring brings, of course.
Make sure you don’t miss the end of this post, where you can watch a time lapse video of one of the Monarch butterflies emerging from its chrysalis!
Now, you may recall me saying that I borrowed a video camera from my dad in order to film one of the butterflies eclosing. That’s true. I managed to film two butterflies eclosing from their chrysalises. Here’s the video I created. Portions of the film are time lapsed so that you can experience the entire transformation: