Monday, July 30, 2007

My First Monarch

I went in early to work today in order to leave at 11:00 (since the Spousal Unit had the day off also). Boy, am I ever glad I did, because here's what awaited me when I got home:
Now, I'll take you back to yesterday evening and show you what I was going to post last night, but we went down to see Mom & Dad instead and it was pretty late when we got home (because we took the back way to look for deer).

I knew the time for a butterfly was drawing near because you could actually see the color of the wings through the cocoon.

When I got up this morning, the cocoon looked almost black because the butterfly was almost ready to emerge. I was really hoping it would be hatched by the time I got home from work and I wasn't disappointed.

Flight Test

The monarch ranch is pretty busy right now. (Monarch Ranch II came home from the office because one of the women who did a security check on my desk last week got a little freaked out by the jar full of "bugs" sitting on my desk. I thought it would be best to bring it home before she filed some sort of incident report or complained to my supervisor.)

Anyway, the 3 caterpillars from Monarch Ranch II went into Monarch Ranch I, plus I had 5 new eggs hatch last week. My current total of caterpillars is 12, cocoons is 6, and eggs is 2.

And, of course, 1 new Monarch butterfly.

Also this morning, our mailman delivered my Monarch Waystation certificate...I'm number 1515.


Jayne said...

Congratulations! You're a proud mama! So sorry you had to bring Ranch II home, but better that than finding it confiscated! So very cool! And the "official" certificate of your ranch herder status too. :c)

RuthieJ said...

Thank you Jayne. I was so excited to have this first monarch and it was bittersweet seeing it fly away from the purple coneflowers in my backyard.

Robin (Bumblebee) said...

So much better than television, isn't it? If we could only get more people to take joy in the small things--such as this perfect butterfly!

I'm glad that my 16-year-old son has "seen the light." He now calls me when I'm traveling to tell me things such as the bluebirds are building another nest. Or that he saw a totally different type of butterfly. He may stray into another world when he leaves home--at least for a while. But he'll never forget these lessons of nature.

And I'm looking into the waystation info. Thanks for that!

--Robin (Bumblebee)

nina said...

Such a privilege to be a part of the cycle--its so fleeting.

ABQ-B-Fly Guy said...

NEAT-O! Great to see your first monarch! How cool is that! And I do recognize that certificate! Your waystation is listed on the Monarch Watch site as well! Last one on this update. Congrats on a job well done.

Oh, most monarch typically will emerge around the miday time frame, give or take a half hour to hour. I don't recall watching a monarch emerge after noon last summer, but I could be wrong.

Great to see you enjoying the process! :)

Waystation #635

Mary C said...

That is so cool, Ruthie! And what perfect timing to get your certificate in the mail. Well, I hope we'll see more butterfly pix in the very near future! ;-)

Mary said...

Congratulations, Ruthie! That's so wonderful. Have you have experience with Monarch ranches before? I guess having Ranch II at home is safer, anyway.

I'd love to see it released but I imagine I'd be sad about that...

MOM said...

Ruthie-I would have liked to have been there to see it hatch. How can a big beautiful butterfly crawl out of that little cocoon? Amazing isn't it, and then it is off into the wild. The cycle starts, all over again, Keep at it, the certificate proves you can do it.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Robin,
You're right, definitely better than TV!
Thanks for sharing about your son also. I wish I had been more into nature when I was 16. I have so much to make up for now as an adult.
Good luck with your waystation certification...keep me posted on the progress.

Hi Nina,
The butterfly book I have says they will live 1-3 months as a butterfly (such a short time!) The one I hatched and released was a female.

Hi Ron,
I went to the monarch watch website this morning and found my listing. Thanks for letting me know about that. I will be sending them some pictures of my habitat to add to my profile.

Hi Mary C,
I thought the same cool to get my certificate and a new butterfly on the same day. I guarantee more guys will be tired of seeing monarchs on my blog by the time the first frost rolls around ;-)

Hi Mary,
I think it will be better at home too. I spent far too much time watching them during the day when I was supposed to be working!

Hi Mom,
By the time I got home, her wings were all stretched out. I've never seen one right after it emerged but may get the chance with all the cocoons still to hatch.

Larry said...

Congratulations on your success!That must be very gratifying for you.-well done.

mon@rch said...

This is awesome! Yeaaa! My fave butterflies for sure!

RuthieJ said...

Hi Larry and Tom,
I released a second monarch butterfly Friday afternoon and another will hatch Saturday morning. My tagging kit should arrive sometime next week. This is a pretty cool project.