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.