Yesterday it was dripping just a bit of rain when I decided to walk the dogs, so I left my camera inside. Of course, that was when I saw the newly emerged monarch in the Cedar Grove! So I rushed back to the house, got the camera and was able to snap this photo to share with you....
I'm so glad that he (she?) waited patiently so that I could take the picture. I'm quite sure that this is the caterpillar I saw about 2 weeks ago. My only regret is that I didn't look harder for the chrysalis, as it was hanging from the milkweed leaf in plain sight.
Somehow the drop of rain hanging on the bottom of the empty chrysalis brings a poignant pang to my heart every time I look at it! The miracle of new life never gets old.
On this same patch of milkweed, I've seen 3 more milkweed caterpillars since that first one disappeared to pupate. They've all disappeared now (presumably doing their own metamorphoses) and I've lost track of which plant the first one was on, so I don't know if he moved to a different individual plant to pupate, or if he's on the same plant that he fed on as a caterpillar. Obviously somebody's been eating this plant!
I'm pretty sure this guy will be heading south on the monarch migration. My thoughts and hopes will be flying south with him. I hope he makes it safely!