There will be a butterfly explosion at my house this week. All those Chrysalides that formed last weekend should hatch this week....very exciting! A friend and I went "hunting" last Friday, and found at least 20 more eggs, and three baby cats. I am still not seeing large (4th instar) cats out in the wild, so I continue to believe the safest place for them is in my care. I am seeing so many more butterflies this year, which just makes me happy.
I watched some of the "mrlundscience" videos on youtube this week and he is feeling the same optimism about this years season, however, he also cautions that one good season is not enough to save this species and we must remain vigilant and continue to spread the word about planting milkweed, and encouraging our city governments to not mow it down! (especially in July and August!)
I also watched a video about the OE Virus that attacks Monarchs and spreads on milkweed. It seems it's not a huge problem here in the midwest, but I have had caterpillars, and butterflies die that must have been infected. More often than killing the caterpillar or butterfly it lives on the adult Monarch, then is spread when it lands on milkweed to feed or lay eggs. Very fascinating! If you're interested in more detail, please watch the videos produced by Mr. Lund.
Below are pictures of eggs, and a few of my chrysalides. I hope I can get pictures, maybe even video of all this butterflies emerging this week! In the meantime, Thanks for caring....SAVE the MONARCH!!