BUTTERFLIES ARE NATURE'S TEACHERS. OPEN THE PATHWAY TO YOUR HEART. RETURN TO YOUR TRUE NATURE. EXPERIENCE PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION.
MONARCH BUTTERFLY ENERGY AND SYMBOLOGY
The Monarch butterfly is an amazing teacher. It's wisdom shows us many things. It demonstrates to us the cycle of life, the beauty of flight, the exhilaration of freedom, and the brilliance of color. The butterfly also teaches us about surrender, transformation, and bringing color into our world. Did you know Monarchs only lay their eggs on milkweed plants and the Monarch caterpillar only eats milkweed leaves? By simply planting the milkweed plants in our yard we can help increase the Monarch butterfly population.
The Monarch butterfly lays tiny white eggs on the leaves of milkweed plants. Look carefully at the underside of the leaves as it is here you might find a little white egg. That is the egg of the Monarch or the Queen butterfly.
Did you know the Monarch butterfly lays its eggs only on milkweed plants? We can help increase the population of Monarch butterflies by planting milkweed at our homes.
(Special note: When the milkweed seed pods form if you don't want them to go to seed just cut the pods and discard to prevent the spreading of the milkweed seeds.)
Wait approximately three days and then check your milkweed plants to see if the larvae hatched from the tiny white egg. Once hatched you will begin to see little baby caterpillars. They are so cute!
This baby caterpillar is approximately 2-3 days old.
The caterpillar eats the milkweed leaves. It is one of nature's lawnmowers. Over the course of two weeks it will shed its skin five times as it continues to grow and expand in size almost before your very eyes! The caterpillar reaches this stage after approximately 10-14 days.
This funny caterpillar found its way to the very top of my trellis to find the perfect spot for its transformation into a pupa.
Can you see the bright gold rim at the top of the pupa? Isn't it magnificent?! Nature is so incredible!
The caterpillar hangs upside down as it affixes itself to its new location. It hangs as if in suspended animation for approximately 5-6 hours. Then something truly amazing occurs! The caterpillar begins to shed its skin one final time by splitting its exterior casing. This process once it begins happens quite quickly. As the skin peels back you will begin to see the bright green color. This becomes the pupa.
The new casing becomes hardened and is known as the chrysalis. Over the next few days the chrysalis becomes almost transparent. As the days progress the pupa begins to transform into a butterfly. Look closely and you will be able to clearly see the butterflies wings! This stage takes approximately 10 days.
Just before the butterfly is ready to emerge the chrysalis appears dark in color. The butterfly pictured above is within hours of emerging.
In the final stage the beautiful butterfly emerges from the chrysalis. Its wings will look crumpled but just wait for the next miracle as the Monarch begins to pump fluid into its wings. It's another amazing transformation to witness. It will rest in this location for approximately 4-6 hours drying its wings and opening and closing its wings occasionally before ultimately taking flight!
Create An Outdoor Butterfly Sanctuary In These Simple Steps
1. Purchase milkweed seeds and grow your own milkweed patch or go to your local home and garden store and purchase approximately 5+ milkweed plants or more depending on the garden space available at your home.
2. Plant your milkweed in a sunny or sunny to part shade location for the best growing results. Water frequently until established.
3. Watch for the butterflies. The butterflies may have already laid eggs on the milkweed plants you purchased at the garden center. (Look for the little white eggs on the leaves.) The other thing that might happen is you will discover butterflies coming into your garden area where the milkweed is located to lay the eggs. If you see two butterflies dancing in the air fluttering about be on the lookout as one of them may soon lay eggs on your plants shortly thereafter. The butterflies sometimes lay 2+ eggs per leaf.
4. After discovering the tiny eggs on the milkweed leaf check back in 2-3 days and be on the lookout for teeny tiny caterpillars on the underside of your milkweed leaves. A sure sign that caterpillars are on the milkweed will be little holes in the leaves. Again, the caterpillars hang out on the underside of the leaves so gently turn a leaf over and you will most likely see the caterpillar. The caterpillars will eat and eat and eat. They are nature's lawn mowers. They can eat all the leaves on a milkweed plant(s) within a couple of days. The caterpillars will continue to eat for approximately 5-7 days before going into the final stage.
5. When the caterpillars are ready to transition to the pupa phase they will begin to look for a location to transform into the pupa. Once this has occurred it will be approximately 7-10 days before they emerge from the chrysalis as a beautiful butterfly. It's super fun to see them emerge and dry their wings. The butterfly will dry its wings for approximately four hours before taking flight. It is a graduation day for the butterfly and a magical day for us Fairy Godmother's and Fairy Godfather's to the butterfly too!