Monarch Caterpillars: Big and Little!

My husband and I have been getting a lot of enjoyment out of watching the monarch caterpillars on the milkweed at the edge of the hedge. I like to check on them every morning first thing, just to make sure they're OK. Some mornings, I see just a few; others, as many as seven to nine!

Almost all of the cats, as we call them, are quite large at this point. I am hopeful they will turn into butterflies soon and fly away. Some of the monarchs born at this time of year are very special. They are part of a longer-living generation called the Methuselah generation that will make the long flight from here in Pennsylvania to their winter habitat in Mexico and California.

I was out taking some pictures of the cats on this day, and above you may see both a large and a small caterpillar. I love them both but I have to tell you I find the itty-bitty ones to be totally squee-worthy! I note in looking at this shot that there are eggs or something of some kind on the milkweed leaf on the right.

The fussy monarch mama in me wants to holler out, "What the heck are you putting in your mouth? Stop that!! Spit that out!!!!" I don't even know what those things are, or if they are any good for monarch caterpillars! Sheesh!

But these caterpillars are true eating machines, and they snarf up anything in their path. Oh well, whatever that was, it's history now: down the gullet of a monarch caterpillar!

Here is a song about shapes and sizes: Joan Armatrading, with All Shapes and Sizes.

Sign in or get an account to comment.