The monarch butterfly emerged this morning just as I had hoped. Unfortunately, I missed the moments immediately after coming out of the cocoon. Here's a picture probably about 30 minutes after emerging.
I allowed the butterfly a few hours in the ranch to strengthen its wings and get used to the big, new world, and then I took it outside and set it on one of my Joe Pye weed plants.
Full View (it's a male--you can tell because of the thin vein pigmentation and larger dots on the hindwings)
While I was searching for more caterpillar eggs, I happened upon this cute little guy.
A lot of personality in one little handful.....no, I didn't kiss him!
He got a safe release underneath the deck where hopefully he can find lots of slugs and other good stuff to eat.