They don’t call it butterfly weed for nothing

A little over a week ago, I saw a monarch lay an egg on the butterfly weed, so I kept checking on it.

closeup of one butterfly weed bud stem in the sun, with a white football-shaped egg pointed downward on the left side

Two days later I noticed two more eggs. The next day I noticed a fourth, and I was able to get them all in one photo.

large, full butterfly weed plant with two eggs visible in the front and two practically invisible in the middle

Of course, from this distance they’re nearly impossible to see, so I added arrows to show where they are. The orange arrow is the location of the original egg.

same photo, with three black arrows and one orange arrow pointing to tiny whitish spots

A zoomed-in version of the top two eggs:

a black arrow and an orange arrow pointing to white dots

And a zoomed-in version of the bottom two eggs:

black arrows pointing to two white dots

When I leaned in to get a closer look at one of them, I spotted a fifth egg in the crown of one of the stems.

an egg in focus on a cluster of buds, with blurry leaves in the foreground

Then I decided to check the other side of the plant, and I found a sixth egg.

egg on the top left corner of a group of lots of skinny green leaves

Six eggs on one plant. Wow!

I decided to raise two of the eggs (plus one from a common milkweed) inside — partly to simply observe, and partly for a reason I’ll explain in a future post. All three hatched early the same morning, but strangely, they’re growing at different rates.

three tiny monarch caterpillars, one much smaller than the others


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    • It sure was! I’m still finding eggs in my yard, and it’s just as exciting, every time.


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