Well this is how i woke up to the monarch this morning almost about to hatch you can really see the wings and dark color:
And this is a bigger picture of all the hanging chrysaliszes and some more caterpillars. Look at all those chrysallisses:
And here is how he was a few hours later:
Once they get out of the chrysallis you can not take them outside right away and let them go, they are still wet and cannot fly. I leeave them in for about 4 hours and get them and hold them on my finger and if there is wind they usually fly if not a blow on there wings to give them a little lift. If they still do not take off move your finger up and down gently tilll they fly and if that doesnt work grab ahold of the right part of them and give them a gentle toss. If they still go to the ground they are not ready and keep them inside for a little longer but dont wait to long. Once they fly they will land in a nearby tree, leave them there and they will take off again once they get there strenght back up.
Hows yours doing bjorn, must be close.
Nice photo's Jordan.
I have three hangin and two caterpillars starting to spin the little webbing attachment. So by tomorrow morning, all five should be changed. I'm still at least a week out from any butterflies.
I counted about 100 milkweed plants on the property. Mostly in three main groupings. And except for one caterpillar that had changed the night before I put my observation jar together for the kids, I have only been able to find these five caterpillars. It's not from a lack of plants, and although I have nothing to compare it too, it seems that there are not many caterpillars to be found.
The only place that i find them on is in our christmas trees, beacause we mow it just befour they lay there eggs and then they shoot up new little plants from it roots and the leaves must be more tender because they like them a whole lot more and they are just little plants like 6''.
I am a teacher, and during the summer I co-coordinate a summer butterfly house project at our school.
We raise monarchs, among others. We use those clear plastic "clamshell" containers-I think they are usually used for salads. We keep the newly hatched butterflys in a screened in "flight cage" for at least half a day, sometimes longer, before releasing them into the butterfly house, to give the wings time to dry.
Raising them indoors increases the survival rate dramatically-no predators. Plus, it is such a great learning activity for kids. We tag and release them in the fall when we take down the netting of the butterfly house.
I just released 2 more tonight.
Its a wonderful experience!
Been having fun raising the monarchs this year too.
Once they chrysalize, I carefully pick the chysalis off where it is connected with the webbing, and then pin through the webbing and pin them to a wall were we can keep an eye on them better, and they can get light and air and have room to spread their wings when they hatch. Two we pinned in the somewhat stuffy basement died, so since then we put them where they get more air.
The kids have really enjoyed watching them and letting them go. The milkweed is going to stay in the yard!!
I just released another tonight.
No picture...the batteries went dead.
But this morning, we released our first butterfly. It hatched out sometime yesterday and only noticed last night it was out. So I gave it some sugar water overnight and released first thing this morning. The kids loved it.
I know there is rain coming today, but felt it better to release instead of holding another day. Maybe thats not true??? I know some keep them in butterfly gardens, but these are rather large structures, right? Mine was under my double strainer used for honey. And although it was sitting pumping its wings, it had no real place to fly.
As soon as it was released it flew to the top of a 30 foot tree, rested, and was last seen pumping its wings. Absolutely amazing!
Glad to hear about your success bjorn.
I got 3 more that just went into J hooks now, i cant count how many are in chraysallises anymore.
I just released 3 more today.
Yours are prolly all done arent they bjorn?
My students and I tagged and released three out in our butterfly garden today. The kids do the "Butterfly Release Chant" as we release them. It goes like this "You gotta go, you gotta go, you gotta go to Mexico!". The kids seem to think it encourages the butterflies!
Just released 4 more yesturday.
Bjorn did your make it?
Just released my last 3 today.
Did anyone else have any success?
We raised 5 out of 5. Released the last one last week. I wanted to get a picture of the kids with the butterfly but 3 year old twins, just wanted to "chase' them, touch them, etc. So I placed this one on a mint plant in the backyard and snapped a few pictures before it flew away like the other ones.
Here is a picture.
I am looking forward to next year and want to build a butterfly enclosure. However the wife thinks that anything bigger than 10 feet is over doing it. What a party pooper!
Every year for the last 5 or 6 years I have done this with my oldest son (now 10). We put the caterpillar into mayonaise jars with fresh leaves every day. For a top we use an old t-shirt piece that I rubber band to the top that way when they make there crysalis I just undo the rubber band and hang it on a small tree branch with a safty pin. Every year we get enough to fill the tree (about 20 to 30).
Sounds like everyone had a succesful year. Bjorn your wife might be a little right, just build it 9 feet.
...or 2 "separate" enclosures that are 9 feet. you don't have to advertise (even to the wife) that the 2 enclosures actually connect together....
Originally Posted by JordanM
well i have never raised monarchs.i dont think we have milkweed in montana.we had it where i grew up in tennessee.but last weekend i had to go to nyc for a wedding.it was a rooftop wedding in downtown manhattan and i was noticing all of the bee forage on other rooftop gardens and window boxes,balconies etc...i did not see any bees but i did see alot of monarchs.they seemed to be riding thermals up the side of the 20 story buildings.it was refreshing.
There are not many natural milkweed types in Montana. Many sites only map native plants. But milkweed will grow in Montana, and there are native types, although not as many as else where. As long as it's not an invasive plant or restricted, you may be able to set up a butterfly garden and raise monarchs, which you can actually purchase commercially. The monarchs only need milkweed for the catapillars, and the butterflies will feed off other flowers so they will survive and migrate.
Here is a couple sites of interest to Montana milkweed...
If you google "milkweed in Montana" there are sites to be found.