While I was still mourning the loss of our three caterpillars, nature decided to teach me another lesson.
A couple weeks ago I noticed that our thoroughly devoured butterfly bush had regrown its leaves. The very next day we had yet another temporary visitor chewing away—yep, it was a monarch caterpillar!
This time there was no competition for all that tasty greenery. I’m sure the little guy preferred being a solo act.
Plus it left plenty of room for the caterpillar to show off his gymnastics skills. This multicolored guy totally entertained me with his stunts around the once-again naked plant.
But all too soon my pal disappeared into the mulch. I wondered if he would be able to find our house so he could eventually pupate.
The next morning I finally spotted him near our front door, inching his way up the door jamb. That definitely wasn’t the best spot for him to eventually “J” and form his chrysalis.
So I found a stick, which he climbed on to. Then I gently placed him at the bottom of our front porch’s wall so he could ascend undisturbed.
Before long he was on top of our front entry’s arch, settling in near one of the asps’ cocoons.
By the afternoon, the caterpillar was precariously hanging off the arch. Pupation awaited!
When I checked the next morning, this chrysalis greeted me. As happy as I was that we might see another monarch butterfly emerge, I wondered if it would last for two weeks. The location of the bright, green exoskeleton seemed too out in the open, too tempting for hungry birds.
Sure enough, the very next day, there was nothing left of the leaf-stripping, hard-working caterpillar. The chrysalis was gone.
And, once again, I’m in mourning. Sigh!