This will be my fourth year raising monarch butterflies, starting with eggs found in my garden. I am going to downscale a bit this year and try to focus most of my energy on the migratory generation which will emerge in late August into September. Of course, easier said than done. I collected this one as a tiny first instar about a month ago and today he emerged from his chrysalis where he's been busy becoming a perfect Monarch Butterfly. He didn't emerge until late this afternoon so I won't release him until tomorrow morning. He will just hang out in his enclosure and do his zen thing. He's in there with three other chrysalises and two J'd cats who are getting ready to change into chrysalises. All very calm. In another container I have 5 little first and second instar cats, busy eating milkweed. And all over my garden...eggs and caterpillars.
I chose to shoot this very close in order to show his curled proboscis, and also to show the shell of his chrysalis. I'll put a close up of his beautiful wings in Extra.
As in past years, I will release each butterfly in someone's memory, so please do let me know if you want me to remember someone special with a butterfly release. This one will go for my BIL, Phliip. This male will breed and his offspring will be the migrant generation that travels to Mexico. Philip lived for his children and grandchildren, so this seems...right.
It rained most of the day, which didn't stop the fuzzy little bumble bees click HERE to be eye-to-eye) from going on their appointed rounds, nor this photographer from following them around.
I also took some time out for hummingbirds. The resident male this summer is doing his best to guard all three feeders from his vantage point in the garden (click HERE to see the little tyrant). Fewer hummers than usual here this year, although there is still August to look forward to...
Tomorrow I'm off to join my nature group for a walk in one of my favorite places. No telling what we'll see although butterflies will surely be on the menu. And, it looks like the weather is going to be perfect.
On Depression...As I've mentioned, for some people depression is temporary; for others like me it seems to be a permanent thing. Fortunately, many people (like me) respond well to medication and are able to live full and happy lives. But we always know the darkness is out there if we get careless.