Welcome to my zone 9a habitat garden near Houston, Texas.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A wonderful surprise!

I went out with the camera this morning to document some rose blooms for a post I was thinking about doing and I found more than I had bargained for. As I was examining the blooms on my Satsuma orange tree, I noticed that a nearby butterfly weed looked like it had been munched. I examined the plant but couldn't find any caterpillars or aphids or anything that typically munches butterfly weed. Then I started looking around at my other plants and found that they had all had bites taken out of them, but try as I could I couldn't find the culprit until...

DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE?!! There on the top of this one plant I found three teeny, teeny, tiny little Monarch caterpillars!!! I've blown up the picture a bit so you can see them better, but you can tell by their relative size compared to the leaf that they really are small.

Considering all the bad news that we've had about the status of the Monarch butterfly lately, I consider this an absolute triumph! I feel certain there are other caterpillars around in my garden. They are just so small that I overlooked them, but give them a few days of munching and they should be much more visible.

I've only seen two Monarch butterflies in my garden so far this spring. I chased both of them with my camera, but couldn't get a usable picture. It didn't help that it was very windy on both days of their visits. But, obviously, although they were camera shy, they stopped long enough to leave me the precious gift of their eggs. I'm very glad that my camera found their babies today.

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