Friday, September 9, 2011

Time to morph

These never cease to amaze me. Monarch Butterflies are truly one of the greatest creatures on earth.
i happened upon the fellow just before he began to hatch and was able to set up the camera on a three minutes interval.
What is really amazing is how fast the caterpillar forms this tiny, green cocoon. I was watching him fifteen days ago when he did so. I thought I would get an idea of the length of time it took him to build it so I may photograph the process at a later date.
To my surprise he did not build it as do other caterpillars. They pull their body up tight and a gel oozes from their skin and hardens around them. Total time from start to finish is less than a minute.
But this hatching and unfolding of the wings lased about a half hour before he took flight, which gave me plenty of time to record it.
He (Teddy. I named him when he was hunting about on the milkweed for a place to form his cocoon) decided that the milkweed was just too common so he crawled over to my rhubarb plant to find a home. Not the most convenient place for me to work.
Still, I managed to get a tripod in there with the camera hanging upside down.
Teddy turned from an ugly yellow caterpillar with green and black stripes into a beautiful creature that will head south toward Mexico. He has never been there, but he knows the way.

1 comment:

D.L. Wood said...

With all the crappy things going on in the world isn't nice to be able to stop and enjoy the miracles of nature when they are presented to us. And the Monarch is truly one of them.

Thanks for sharing.

D.L. Wood