my new butterfly hatchery...a work in progress

my new butterfly hatchery…a work in progress

Yarn-bombed the butterfly house :-)

Yarn-bombed the butterfly house 🙂

needed a net to tras[ort the butterflies out of the hatchery...works like a charm!

needed a net to trasport the butterflies out of the hatchery…works like a charm!

DSC_0716

old school hatchery…seemed to work a little too good and expansion was called for!

bakers dozen

Been raising butterflies for over 20 years now, mostly Monarchs, but started out with Anise Swallowtails when our boys were little.

spencer and swallowtails

Spencer and the Swallowtails

Dyland and Swallowtails

Dylan and the Swallowtails

ray sr and monarchs

When my father-in-law was visiting us recently, he got to see one emerge from its chrysalis….it looks like this:

DSC_0589DSC_0590DSC_0592DSC_0593DSC_0596DSC_0597 DSC_0602DSC_0607DSC_0610 DSC_0615

And if that weren’t miraculous enough…

queen 2queen on yarrow cropped

In the past year I’ve had two Queen caterpillars appear on the milkweed in our garden. Queens are very rare in the area, preferring the warmer climes. Queens are similar to Monarchs, but the caterpillars have an extra pair of antennas which are red at the base. The butterflies are a slightly richer brown/orange and lack the black veins on the upper wings….these are the main differences. My sighting even made it onto the BAMONA sightings map! http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/sighting_details/757133 .

wandering queen,jpg

And yes, we named a beer after her 🙂 .

When the butterflies first emerge from their chrysalises, they are very docile and make great models.

nine monarchs on agapantha

The caterpillars are less cooperative. I tried to get them to make their chrysalises on some cool statuary and they would have nothing to do with it, so I improvised with the more amiable butterflies.

tara and the catsDSC_0650

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