Using a macro lens on an iPhone and a whole lot of patience I captured a detailed video of a Monarch caterpillar as it emerged from it's egg. And it's AMAZING.
That's right. A Monarch Project Update. I've decided to make this whole saving the Monarchs project official with its own dedicated space on The Art of Doing Stuff and catchy title.
For those of you who took it upon yourselves to raise a Monarch butterfly, I've come up with The Monarch Project. A little endeavour to raise awareness about how the Monarch is in decline and how easy it is to raise one to help ensure the species lives on.
If you wanna raise a Monarch (cause they're way easier to raise than kids) you can see all my tutorials on it here.
Yeah, I know. Sounds very humanitarian, save the world kind of stuff. The sort of thing Angelina Jolie or George Clooney are likely to be interested in.
That's enough about that.
I wanted to update you on my own Monarchs. At this very moment I have a tiny 2 day old caterpillar, a 4 week old caterpillar and a chrysalis. I brought an egg in for my sister who wanted to give them to a friend to raise. However that friend was busy the weekend the eggs were to hatch, so we left them here and I hatched them. Well, technically I didn't hatch them, I mean I didn't have to squat over them or anything. All I really had to do to ensure they hatched was not throw them on the floor and stomp on them.
I took a peek at the egg a couple of days ago and I could see by the way it was dark at the tip that it was seconds away from hatching. So I grabbed my iphone, the egg and the milkweed it was on and ran outside.
I managed to get a video of the entire thing. The caterpillar nibbling its way out of the egg and emerging for the first time into the world.
Here it is. Even if you don't want to raise a butterfly, this is a great video to watch. I felt very Wild Kingdom doing it.
Monarch Caterpillar Emerging from Egg
Join the Monarch Project. Learn the whys and hows of raising a Monarch butterfly.
Wanna know how I got such a close up video on my old iPhone? I happen to have a few jewellers loupes for some reason. It's from back in the day when I was a jewellery thief. I ran back inside and got one and just put it in front of my iPhone lens when I was shooting the video.
It worked great. I have a little macro lens that slips onto my iPhone but it wasn't letting me get close enough to the caterpillar. That's when the idea of the loupe came to me. All of this transpired in about 1.2 seconds by the way because I knew I didn't have much time or I'd miss the whole event. And by now we all know that an event not captured on video is only imaginary.
Which is why I proposed all cameras be banned from George Clooney's wedding.
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Ahhh, beautiful. Does it have a name yet? Still looking here. Coming home from visiting my mom in the hospital I stopped to watch the sunset with my almost 4 year old daughter a minute. She asked to get out, so we did. Wandered around the tall grass beside a cornfield along an old laneway. Filled with wild flowers, Queen Anne's Lace, Chickory, Milkweed - no Monarchs. So many memories of my childhood are of fields & the bugs & birds, mice and snakes. I take her away from the city whenever I can - more often it's to a park though... Moving to a smaller town soon. Closer to the country & fresh air and more chances to muck around away from endless lawn like parks. I know she loves nature. Picked her up from daycare today & she was busy finding bugs in the sand between the bricks of the playground :) God I love her.
And I am off topic....sorry.
I did see three butterflies yesterday down by the Darlington nuclear plant while on a walk with my friend. Have to check my neighbour's yard again for eggs or babies. Thanks for doing this Karen. She can't have my childhood, but there are parts of it I can share.
Speaking of sharing - Pinning this too!
Ok, I totally want to do this now. I have saved the feral kitties in my neighborhood so why not the monarch butterfly as well?
I just love That your saving the Monarch Butterfly. I live in Queensland Australia and we don't have a problem with them becoming extinct. We are moving from the city to the country in a month and I intend to help the Monarch butterfly population. thanks for your fun post. and best of luck with your project
I love this so much! Next year, I will plan to make a Monarch-friendly habitat in our garden.
And if you haven't already seen them, Houzz has a posted a couple of Monarch-specific idea books this summer. Yay!
Bonus post: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/16875538/list/6-plants-that-beat-butterfly-bush-for-the-wildlife-draw
I am ordering milkweed seeds to plant in the garden this year. My Aunt in Kansas has saved some seeds from wild plants and is going to plant them.
The monarchs are going to need a lot of help this year. This December, the butterflies covered a total of 10 acres, compared to 2.8 acres in 2014 and a record low of 1.66 acres in 2013. Then this happened:
They are still assessing the impact but hopefully it is not as harsh as originally reported.