Monarch emerging from Chrysalis.

You may remember Liberace.

Colourful, vibrant and vivacious.  My caterpillar, Liberace.

A couple of weeks ago I showed you a video of Liberace as he was just hatching out of his shell.  After a few weeks of eating, growing, eating growing, pooping, eating and growing, Liberace cloaked himself in a glittery chrysalis.




And a few days ago, he emerged.  And I happened to catch it all on video.

And by “happened to catch” I mean I woke up early on the morning I knew it was going to emerge and sat beside the chrysallis for 6 hours until it happened.

Yeah he was late, and the opening act of a fly crawling across the counter was kindda lame, but when he finally came out, Liberace put on a spectacular show.



Nature. Gotta love it. It’s a complete freak show.

Learn more about Monarchs at The Monarch Project.




  1. Shauna says:

    WOW. Truly amazing. Thanks so much for sharing this experience.

  2. Laura says:

    That was breathtaking! I feel like I just watched a National Geographic clip or something! I’m determined to plant a patch of milkweed next year for this exact reason. So lovely!

  3. Wisconsingal says:

    Beautiful music, incredible photography. I was enraptured. I’ve wanted to help save these magical winged creatures before I saw this, but you’ve given me a real sense of purpose. Thank you, Karen!

  4. Edith says:

    Thank you for this beautiful tender post.

  5. Grammy says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. Not just for the beautiful video, but for the project. What a wonderful thing to see. In the morning I’ll share it with my 5-year-old grandson. We believe in magic.

  6. Natika says:

    Beautiful video for a beautiful creature.

  7. Christy says:

    Spectacular! Worth every minute of the six hours you waited to capture it. The music was a beautiful match. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Tracey says:

    WOW, I’m in awe. And the song was a perfect fit. The Secret Sisters are amazing. Love the song.
    I have to make sure I leave the milkweed to grow in my field and hatch my own monarch. I love that you would patiently wait 6 hours to capture this little miracle. Amazing!
    Thank you!!

  9. GiGi says:

    I am speechless- as I am sure many of the followers of the Monarch Project are of this video. It really is magic. Thank you.

  10. Donna says:

    Black Swallowtail butterfly caterpillars were on my parsley this summer–saw one emerge and fly off, very beautiful. Thanks for this.

  11. Sally A says:

    Stunning and amazing. As was mentioned, nature truly is magical. Such a beautiful video and the music was a perfect with it. Thank you for catching it for us! Go Liberace! Did you tag him for monitoring? ha!

  12. Edith says:

    Dear Karen! For some stupid reason, this video is not available in my country (Germany). Probably it is so because of the music you have used for it. As we have extremely stupid rules for youtube, I will never be able to show my kids how Liberace turned into a beautiful butterfly! Fortunately, I could show them, how he came out of his egg. (Eric Carle’s “Very Hungry Caterpillar” is a kids’ classic for German kids, too!) If there is any way to post the video without the music, my children and I will love you for the rest of our lives.
    If we had monarcs over here, we would save them all.

  13. Tigersmom says:

    Great job. Perfect pairing of wonderful video and music.

    Go be fabulous, Liberace!

  14. jainegayer says:

    Thank you, Karen.

  15. Beth says:

    Beautiful! Inspires me to try some filming — Science Rules!

  16. shawna says:

    BTW Liberace is a girl. Great video.

  17. Su says:

    Great video! always humbling to see this spectacular show from Mother Nature…. thanks for sharing!

  18. Paint It White says:

    Wow! that was fantastic, thanks for that.

  19. DanniJ says:

    So beautiful! Good luck Liberace.

  20. Carolyn says:

    What a closeup! Amazing!

    As I type, I am waiting for my fourth out of five chrysalises to open…we have released three gorgeous butterflies so far and have been able to share it with many friends over social media. Tons of admirers say they will do it next year – it has gone viral! Will send you a release pic soon. Thanks Karen!

  21. Beckie says:

    Awesome video!

    While I never found any eggs on the milkweed, I did have a monarch in my garden yesterday. I will let the milkweed grow and keep looking for eggs.

  22. mayr says:

    Oh honey. The loveliness.

  23. Mel says:

    Thank you for sharing this. It was beautiful.

  24. Kelly says:

    Absolutely fascinating, awesome and amazing!!!! Just sat here with my coffee and viewed this stunning miracle of nature. I also enjoyed the delightful music you chose … relaxing and calming. Karen….you are just as awesome as this beautiful butterfly….thank you for making my morning so delightful!

    And I know this is off topic but I had a chance to view the article in Canadian Living magazine yesterday and your kitchen is as amazing as this elegant butterfly I just witnessed emerging from it’s chrysalis. I guess you can say your kitchen was a bit like a caterpillar turning into a monarch butterfly.

  25. Heather says:

    Stunning. Maybe you can get a gig with National Geographic in your spare time. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

  26. Phyllis Kraemer says:

    Hey Karen!…you are amazing!

  27. Patti says:

    Jaw dropped, stunned. Wow, that was beautiful!

  28. pat barford says:

    Uhh – maaaazing! I’m all misty over my coffee. Thank you for a beautiful and inspiring start to my day.

  29. Jane says:

    Hi Karen,
    This was a great post! My sister-in-law actually owns a butterfly farm in Florida. They have a lot of fun and educational information on their website. You can even purchase butterflies for weddings, school events, anniversaries, etc. You can find their website at Shady Oak Butterfly Farm.

  30. Mary Werner says:

    Amazing tiny little life that I would have missed without your camera – thanks for doing this and the music with Liberace opening his wings was perfect! Actually got misty eyes watching it unfold. THANK YOU for a gentle, beautiful reminder that all life is important to one life. What a glorious world we life in.

  31. Fred Barrett says:

    I watched it when I got up this morning. It’s a wonderful way to start the day!

  32. Melissa in North Carolina says:

    I’m in awe of this tiny miracle. I can’t imagine what it was like for you to witness this in person. Thank you for making us aware of the Monarchs. So beautiful. Thank you, Karen.

  33. kate-v says:

    How she’s all folded up inside the chrysalis! and then unfolds! – nature’s origami –

  34. Audrey says:

    Karen, like so many others, I’ve put down my coffee to watch the miracle of Liberace’s birth. Thank you so much for patiently capturing it. Milkweed is a must in all our gardens.

  35. Susan says:

    Beautiful video, beautiful music and beautiful birth! I hope the monarch project does go viral because it’s becoming crucial. Here in PEI, the kingdom of the potato, I planted as many bird, butterfly and bee-friendly plants as possible, have seen one straggly cabbage butterfly, no moths at night, no bats, no honey bees and no swallows. They’ve all gone the way of the dodo bird on this wonderful, pesticide-laden island.

  36. Jan In Waterdown says:

    So very beautiful and gentle! Thank you m’ dear! Did you know Lee Valley carries a stop action camera for photographing nature?
    Btw, I’m assuming you went to Christie last week and we can expect to hear/see all ’bout your new treasures?

    • Jan In Waterdown says:

      Also, btw, I meant to ask if you got a tad misty eyed when Liberace flew away and left home?

    • Karen says:

      I was going to go to Christie’s (of course) but ended up not going so I could get some stuff done around here. It’s more the Spring show I go to anyway, but I do love the fall one too! ~ karen

  37. JeannieB says:

    Beautiful! Well done! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if a very tiny camera could be placed on a butterfly. to follow it on it’s journey.

  38. This is amazing. Thank you for sharing such an amazing video!

  39. Ev Wilcox says:

    Thanks so much for the six-hour heel-cooling! We all appreciate it. What a lovely video. Music perfect! You are nice to us and we love you Karen!

  40. Maryanne says:

    Lovely. Thank you.

    (BTW – Liberace looked like a monster monarch butterfly – obviously from all your hard work (and protection) – great work!)

  41. Kat says:

    Nature is art in it’s truest form and you not only captured it beautifully but you helped it on it’s journey. I applaud you and thank you. Did you hear that? You just received a standing ovation! Well done Karen.

  42. Cynna says:

    Welcome to the world, Liberace!

  43. LazySusan says:

    Amazing! Thank you for your patience and for sharing that with us!

  44. Suanne says:

    Somehow………… the world seems a little more at peace after watching this.

  45. Deva says:

    I’ve never seen this before. It was beautiful. Thank you.

  46. What a wonderful job of editing and choice of music. Oh, and the monarch did a pretty good job playing his/her role, too!

  47. Carole McGinnis says:

    That is the most amazing “freaky” video. Thanks for sharing. Beautiful.

  48. Alicia Herron says:

    Karen, I found this awesome site, I’m in FL so it’s perfect for me and I wanted to share. You can donate to the cause and get sent milkweed seeds or plants…. and I can’t wait to receive them and start helping the cause!

  49. Ruth says:

    Oh wow…. Beautiful.

  50. Sally says:

    Made me cry

  51. Debbie says:

    Thank you for letting us see this beauty.

  52. Pat Kichinko says:

    I have goose bumps on my arms – that was too beautiful. Thanks, Karen. I believe you, too, are this beautiful butterfly. After your divorce, you became a caterpillar. You gave yourself time and have emerged an gorgeous butterfly.

  53. Barbie says:

    What a delightful way to start my morning! The butterfly, the music, and the simple brilliance of the way you brought it all across!

    Brilliant ….Just brilliant!

  54. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Dear Mother Nature..We are sorry for taking you for granted..Please don’t take your beautiful things away from us..We love you..

  55. Michelle B says:

    I love that you used one of your your readers’ songs for this video! Do you have any other chrysalises (chrysali?) waiting to hatch?

    You amaze me. Seriously.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Michelle B. No need for amazement though. And yes, I have one more Monarch waiting to emerge! It will be my last for the season. ~ karen!

  56. Marti says:

    You ended the video before the crow swoops in, snaps up Liberace off the parsley and flies off with him to “complete the cycle of life”?

    • Linda S. in NE says:

      Well now,…that wasn’t very nice, was it? Great job, Karen. Thanks for letting all of us share in this miracle. I also enjoyed your musical choice.

      • Marti says:

        HEY. I said “to complete the cycle of life” instead of snapping his body in half, with the legs falling away as it gains altitude and gulping the upper body down in one swallow, so I think I am actually very nice. Don’t be a hater, Linda S.

        • Jan Elizabeth says:


          This was gorgeous, and even if a crow did get her, it’s better than pesticides and Monsanto. Thank you for making and sharing this lovely video!

  57. Kalani Allred says:

    Gorgeous, mesmerizing, and beautiful. Thank you for capturing and sharing this! Yes, nature is truly miraculous. And I love your videography techniques and the music as well. All lovely.

  58. chris aka monkey says:

    wow i am 65 and truly have never seen anything this amazing…went back and read all 5 parts..i know there must be some here because one would land on the screen in my bedroom window in front of my computer so i will be out there look for those tiny ass eggs now i hope i can see them i want to share this with my grandsons so they have an appreciation of nature thanks you so much…. your photography is awesome xx

  59. Stan Nowak says:

    What a beautiful emergence! I would have loved to have actually been there to experience this! I have seen one ‘go the other way’ though – a caterpillar building its chrysalis to start his / her transformation; just as wondrous to see, but definitely not as colourful! Beautifully filmed, Karen – and nice soundtrack, too! Liberace is a great name as well!

  60. Marion says:

    Absolutely beautiful. Thank you.

  61. Kim C. says:

    Beautiful. Thanks for the work you put into this project and for sharing it with all of us!

  62. Trish R says:

    Trying to think of the perfect adjective to describe this video and post and all it represents. I think silence and awe are all that are truly needed (hard to portray via online though). Thank you, it was beautiful and for a moment, all was right in the world.

  63. Sandi R. in SC says:

    Truly a beautiful vision to behold! BIG thanks to you, Karen, for taking the time sharing and exposing the brilliance of nature close up and personal. Amazing freak show, indeed, Chickie!

  64. marilyn says:

    made my day…great job karen and the secret sisters have a new fan!

  65. Anita says:

    Oh my gosh. I got choked up watching this. Thanks for sharing Karen.

  66. Louise says:

    I watched this on and left a comment on how beautiful it is. However, your post here is even more wonderful. I love the way you described him as Liberace, wrapping himself in a glittery cloak. I hadn’t noticed the gold sparkles on the chrysalis before, and your pointing them out made the entire event even more magical and gave this a whole new dimension. You are a great writer!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Louise! Yes, I saw your comment on youtube! If you notice, you can see the metallic gold on his (her actually) wing. I pullout from it in one shot. Even *I* had never seen/noticed that bit of gold on the wing before. I always wondered what happened to the gold from the chrysalis. ~ karen!

  67. AKing says:

    This was beautifully done, thank you!

  68. Maureen Locke says:

    Incredible… loved it. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  69. Debbie says:

    I’m a teacher, and have “grown” butterflies with classes and shown emergence from the internet. Nothing I’ve seen comes even close to your video. It was beyond words beautiful. I could not take my eyes away for a second. Thank you so much for sharing this amazing show of nature. The music was perfect.

  70. Lis says:

    Thank you for this gift! Freakingly awesome. You are.

  71. Nicole2 says:

    I cried. Well done, Karen!

  72. Fred Barrett says:

    Found a monarch catapiler today. I call the little critter a catapiler because your right about the load of poop it generates! Do you call a catapiler a he or a she? Anyway, the critter is doing well! Couldn’t find an egg, was happy with a tiny, already born poop generator.

    Love your blog. Fred

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Fred! Congratulations on your Monarch (hopefully) caterpillar find. Keep feeding it fresh leaves and you’ll be releasing it in a month or so. ~ karen

  73. maria-TO says:

    Freak’n awesome!! I haven’t seen one Monarch this year — so it warms my soul to see the little guy flutter. Thanks for sharing the magic that is Mother Nature. By the way, how is Cuddles doing? — cheers

  74. Rosemary says:

    Liberace is gorgeous!!

  75. Susanne says:

    Wonderful Video!! My son really wants to do this, has for a long time. He would like to know where you get your caterpillars? Thank you, Susanne

    • Karen says:

      Hi Susanne – I let milkweed grow on my property. I then gather up the eggs I find there (Monarchs only lay on milkweed) and bring them inside where they hatch. If you can find milkweed you might be lucky enough to find eggs/caterpillars. ~ karen!

  76. Jess says:

    This is an awesome post! My husband and I are planing a total makeover of our garden next summer, adding more perennials and bushes that will help not only more butterflies but also bees. You’re totally inspiring♥ Thank you for sharing and helping

  77. Candy says:

    Karen, What plant did you release your Monarch on? We have 5 who are “hybernating” right now, and I don’t quite recognize the plant in your video. Is that parsley? I went and bought “attracts butterflies” plants (according to the nursery, Mums will work) but I wasn’t sure if maybe I should use something else. Thanks!!

  78. Jacqueline says:

    What a beautiful moment to capture on camera, and a beautiful song choice to accompany it…

  79. Deb says:

    So beautiful! Thank you for capturing video and sharing it with us. I have swamp milkweed and am growing a bigger stand of it each year. We do see monarchs but I haven’t looked for eggs.

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