Today was the day! I checked on my cocoon early, as it was quite dark yesterday. I took this photo about an hour before she emerged.


Monarch Cocoon in Final Stage

You can see where the dark ring top left became a row of holes, presumably for ventilation, as it does not function as an exit zipper. The butterfly rips open the bottom. The cocoon is molded by the shape of the folded wings. In the final stage, the cocoon wall is virtually transparent, and the polka dots and patterned wings can be plainly seen. Mark and Andy dropped by and as we sat and talked, a beautiful female emerged.


Female Monarch Butterfly Just After Emerging from Cocoon

I had taped cheesecloth below the cocoon for the butterfly to grasp, however, she went up (they go forward I discovered, not back), and slipped and fell! Her damp wings were no help. She struggled to balance, and I let her walk onto my hand. I named her Celeste.

Celeste was quite friendly, and climbed on Mark’s beard and walked across Andy’s hands.


Monarch Butterfly on Andy’s Hand

This was a very special gift for Thanksgiving and I am grateful for Mother Nature and all of her exquisite creatures. The detail in this one butterfly is a marvel.


Female Monarch Butterfly Poses for the Camera


Female Monarch Spreading Wings for First Time

After my first humble attempt at growing food this year, I am especially grateful for our farmers and food providers all over the world. It’s a 24/7 job to grow food, for if you are not in the fields, you are planning, borrowing money from the bank, grinding corn, processing pigs and chickens. There is always something you have to do, and simply growing food in a small front yard has made me ever more appreciative of all the care that goes into food production. Thank you, Nature. Thank you, Farmers. I hope you had a blessed day of thanksgiving. – Kaye