Sunday, September 7, 2008

Monarch Photo Essay

On day 37 of Alex the Great's lifecycle, we knew that hatching time was drawing near,

his crysalis was beginning to become translucent,

as opposed to the nice rich green he was a few days ago.

This morning the crysalis was completely see through. It was time for the big event.

If you want to see the actual hatching, you can watch the video here.

He then hung upside down for quite a while, as the extra fluid from his body pumped into his wings.
We got him onto a stick as he filled his wings and began to dry. This took a couple hours.
It was also real neat to watch him stretch out his proboscus. This is his mouth part that sucks up flower nectar.
We had to leave for church, and I expected to find him flying around the house when we arrived home and an hour and a half later, but he was still drying on his stick.
I think he was waiting for Mark to show him the great big outside world.
Gracie's caterpillar, Anjolina, hatched yesterday morning. Anjolina was also raised at home from an egg. Gracie was very brave this year while she carried Anjolina outside.....

much braver than she was last year during hatching season.
You can tell that Anjolina is a girl
and Alex the Great is a boy because

of the two black wing spots on the underwings of a male monarch. (This was very lucky, since the kids named them from the time they hatched.)

Mark was very proud to take Alex the Great outside to be released. Alex the Great was very happy to pose for a few minutes so that everyone could say goodbye.

And then, up, up, up he flew. We spotted him for the last time at the tippy top of a tree in the field next to our yard.

Have a happy life Alex, we wish you good luck. We hope you will migrate to Mexico and then come back again next year.


Lisa said...

I am so happy for y'all that they hatched and are so beautiful. My daughter and I will watch the video this evening after church! Have a great week!!

Cay G. said...

These are great, Joann.
You win the best hands-on Jim Arnosky award! :)

Rhonda said...

Thank you so much for sharing their adventures with us! We really enjoyed every minute of it.

Ladybug Mommy Maria said...

Those are some gorgeous kids with gorgeous butterflies!

Great job@

School for Us said...

Great photos. Isn't it a great experience???