September Caterpillars

At the beginning of summer when we went to pick out plants at the nursery, I don’t remember Enzo grabbing milkweed, but apparently he did.  All summer we’ve watched this plant grow and grow until finally it flowered and honestly we’ve kind of forgotten about it.  We’ve been busy and haven’t been spending as much time out front.  Last week, however, Josh sent me a picture of something very surprising!

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Neither of us realized we had milkweed, so obviously seeing a milkweed caterpillar was a big surprise since that is all they eat.  As soon as I got home I went to the front to look for it and low and behold, there were about 6 or 7 more caterpillars on what we realized was milkweed.  I’m not going to lie, it was really exciting – I love monarch butterflies!  Some were still pretty small, and others were bigger getting ready to do this…

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I was hoping we’d be able to actually see the whole caterpillar to pupa process, but alas, at some point he completed the process and we discovered another pupa that we had missed close by!  We have three that we know of currently.

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Very unfortunately, however, we were hit with heavy storms and to my great dismay, two caterpillars did not make it to the pupa stage.  As for the other caterpillars that had been on the milkweed… well we looked briefly this morning, but couldn’t find them anywhere. We were running late and the mosquitoes have been fairly obnoxious lately, so the kids and I could only look for a few minutes.  Hopefully we’ll find that they are safe tonight.  Otherwise, I’m crossing my fingers that the butterflies will wait to emerge until we’re all present.  I read that they typically emerge mid-morning, so please let it be on a weekend!  I don’t want to disrupt them, but part of me is tempted to carefully move them (according to instructions) to hopefully ensure that these ones survive.  If nothing else, we will next year.  I also was unaware that you can get these awful little yellow aphids on milkweed and ours is rather infested… not to a point where there isn’t enough food for the caterpillars, but still something we’ll need to watch next year since the plan is to plant more milkweed. 🙂

2 thoughts on “September Caterpillars

    1. Heather Shoberg

      I know! I always say I’ll plant some and then forget, so I’m glad my preschooler picked some out this year. Next year for sure we’ll be planting more and probably moving some inside the house to ensure that more survive!

      Reply

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