The pupa had been changing the last few days. It was turning from its original chartreuse to this grey green. If you look closely, you can begin to see the wings forming inside.
A day later it looked like this. The body is showing clearly now through the chrysalis which has become transparent.
I knew it wouldn’t be long. I came home two hours later to this.
When monarchs hatch the body is quite huge, filled with a liquid that gets pumped into the wings. I missed this part. It rested quietly for a few hours and then…
There she is finally stretching out her wings. She took my breath away! I wasn’t expecting the intense, saturated colours of her wings or the joy that bubbled up from inside as I watched her. It wasn’t until she fanned her wings that I knew she was a girl. (Male monarchs have two distinctive black dots on the lower corners of the wings.)
Her release came on this same beautiful, September day but that part deserves a story of its own. I have a video to edit and some words to find that wrap up this whole adventure in raising a monarch. Stay tuned.
4 thoughts on “It’s a Girl!”
Such a beautiful story, was thinking about you and your monarch girl, as I was finally seeing monarchs flying around here…how do they make their journey south, starting so late? They are so beautiful and precious, so happy to see them, but there is also that little sad feeling in the heart being aware how fragile their existence is and that of a multitude of other creatures.
Thanks, Elke. The major migration of the monarchs is already in the American midwest. She is definitely at the end of the migration but she should be able to make it far enough south before the freezing temperatures start. Fingers crossed for her.
She’s a beauty. Hopefully winging her way to Mexico as we speak.