- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Monarch 'cats seem to like to wander--and pupate on the most unlikely of places.
We have two small butterfly habitats on our kitchen counter. We pluck the wild caterpillars from our pollinator garden (before the predators and parasites find them), and take them inside. There they munch on milkweed and become chrysalids, those gold-studded green jewels that are nature's miracles. When the adults eclose (emerge), we release the monarchs back into the garden. It's monarch conservation on a small scale.
However, a couple of weeks ago, one of our caterpillars managed to wander out of its habitat and head for a wall. How it got out we'll never know.
It found a cord connecting a cell phone/tablet to an electrical outlet. There it formed a chrysalis on the dangling cord. We never spotted the chrysalis until we happened to walk by and check the charge. Surprise! A chrysalis on an electrical cord?
Yesterday afternoon, a beautiful monarch eclosed. A female. After she dried her wings, did she stay put? No. She crawled to the top of the cord. Hello, world...
Tomorrow (Saturday) we'll release our little wanderer so she can wing it to an overwintering site with the rest of her buddies. Maybe to Santa Cruz?
Thanks for the memories, Ms. Monarch. We hope you make it. Somehow or another, we think you will...