A caterpillar at last

In mid-July I finally started seeing a few monarch butterflies in the garden, but I did not find even one caterpillar all summer. That changed today – the first day of autumn – when I was collecting flower seeds and a line of yellow-and-black stripes caught my eye.

caterpillar on the underside of a deteriorating milkweed leaf, with coneflower and milkweed seedpods nearby

With the nights getting colder, I brought this little one inside to form a chrysalis (at any moment). When he or she emerges as a butterfly in about two weeks, I hope it will not be too late to join the migration to Mexico.



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  1. Our monarchs were *very* late this year. We usually find our first eggs in early June, and it was not until the end of June that we finally found some. We watch for butterflies laying eggs and bring them in before they even hatch. We ended up raising and releasing 20 of them this year. Would have been 21 but for one fatality. Not too bad though!

    • That’s a great record, and it’s encouraging to hear! I raised several last year (my first year) and was so disappointed to not be able to this year. But now I have one chrysalis, after all. Fingers crossed!


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