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

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

At last - sunshine!

Today dawned bright and clear. The garden is flooded with golden sunshine. What a joy to see it after almost a week of cold, drizzly days. It's still cold today - in the 40s - but one doesn't mind so much when the sun is shining.

I went out to the garden to plant a couple of nandinas I had bought last week and a pot of Thanksgiving chrysanthemums whose blooms had faded. As I was working to plant one of the nandinas near the patio, I looked up and got a wonderful surprise.

I've told you about some of the Monarch caterpillars I've been monitoring recently. After waiting all year to find such caterpillars on my milkweed plants, in the last few weeks, the plants have been overrun with them to the point where most of the leaves are now gone. But I had not seen any evidence of the caterpillars' progression to the next stage of their metamorphosis. Until today, when I looked up from digging a hole to see this hanging on the back of one of my patio chairs.

A Monarch chrysalis!

This is the only one I have found so far, but then I haven't been out in the garden much lately. Surely, there must be others around and perhaps I will discover them. If the sun stays out.

Back inside, after I uploaded my pictures of the bright green beauty, I searched for a video I had seen earlier of the development of the butterfly, from egg to butterfly. It's a lovely and informative video and here it is.


  1. so excited for your chrysalis!

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  3. How wonderful, Dorothy. Congratulations! While I was filling the birdbaths this morning, I saw a male Monarch butterfly on the ground and I saw an empty chrysalis on rather freeze damaged remains of the trailing lantana. He must have just hatched out of it. I was worried because he was just sort of laying there, so I put my hand out to him and he climbed on. I transported him to the Dallas Red lantana which still has a couple of blooms on it. I'm happy to report that a little while later he flew off toward the pansies at the entrance to the subdivision.