For weeks I have been watching my garden and waiting.
I planted many flowers over the past few years to attract butterflies, specifically Monarchs.
This past week I managed to catch a Monarch on one of my Echinacea.
Last evening after my grandson’s birthday party was done and all the guests and kids had gone home I walked out to the garden and found signs that caterpillars were present on my milkweed plants.
I searched the bottoms of the leaves until I finally found a caterpillar. The first one I found was medium-sized from what I have seen in past years, about an inch in length.
I continued my search in hopes of finding more caterpillars. Next I found this tiny caterpillar eating its way through the plant.
A little perspective on the size. The caterpillar is at most only a 1/4 inch in length. I had to use my camera lens to magnify it to make sure what I was actually seeing. Probably not necessary for someone with good eyes but mine needed help to see it.
I heard an interesting comment on the radio yesterday about caterpillars, butterflies and moths about their brains. It said something that the caterpillar has two brains. The first in the caterpillar is designed for eating and then through metamorphosis its old brain is made into a new one designed for flight that is needed for a moth or butterfly. Two distinctly different brains.Signs of the first are gone after metamorphosis I thought it was interesting. Why not just one capable of both? I still am in awe of the metamorphosis process.
I’m still looking for the elusive butterfly eggs to photograph.