Two of my friends have recently been hatching monarchs and I thought this might be a fun and exciting experience for us. Harriet has been really into bugs ever since she got a bug explorer outfit and kit from her Uncle Dave for her birthday so this seemed like the perfect thing for us to do. I did a little internet research and came across a bunch of sites that gave us the info we needed to get started.
First find monarch eggs. They lay them on the underside of milkweed leaves and it takes a keen eye, but once you spot the first one, and know what you're looking for, you see them everywhere. I wrapped the leaf end in wet paper towel and covered that with tin foil to keep it wet so it wouldn't dry out.
I love these cuties, particularly the gold gots and gold line at the top. We looked it up and the gold dots are little areas that let the chrysalis breathe. Air vents.
This stage lasts for 10-14 days. The whole process from egg to butterfly takes about a month.
A few hours away from hatching out.
Right before emerging it goes from black to clear.
It has emerged! It needs about 4+ hours for the wings to dry out before being able to fly.
The release! To date we have released seven, have two more chrysalises and five more caterpillars still eating away. We have learned so much and have loved every minute of doing this as a family. Hopefully we can inspire others to do this too.