MONARCH ON BUTTERFLY WEED . . .This morning in the garden before the rain came pouring down . . .again!
A lot of different butterflies have visited my small butterfly garden this summer. I am surprised by the amount when I consider the size of my butterfly garden. But they come and come again. Monarchs like this one are not strangers. They especially are fond of the butterfly weed as it is their favorite nector supply but also their host plant . The females lay their eggs on the leaves of this plant and once hatched the caterpillars eat the leaves as food. They can strip a plant in a few days. I have seen as many as 5 monarch caterpillars at one time on the plant but they apparently are getting devoured by birds or maybe a hungry lizard! Next time I vow to gather the poor little guys and put them in a safe butterfly home (large jar with butterfly weed leaves and a nice twig to climb on) and hope they pupate (form a chrysalis or cocoon) then hatch into one of these beauties!
Thanks for looking and all the votes and comments on my previous images! I am always surprised and thrilled by the responses!