I have been watching large groups of Monarch butterflies gathering together amongst the wildflowers in the meadow over the past week. Our three Monarchs have been slow to eclose and today, three weeks to the day that the caterpillar shed its skin for the last time, the first one appeared. The other two will be three weeks old on Monday and I expect they will not eclose before then.
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This morning the chrysalis looked completely black. My cousin Samuel could not believe how small the chrysalis was. My photos have shown them much larger than they actually are. It is hard to believe such a large butterfly could unfold from such a small space. The Becka took the pictures of the butterfly from the time it came out and during the time it took to pump its wings open and elongate its thorax. The whole process took less than ten minutes.
The butterfly is still hanging and will not be ready to fly for a while. I gave Samuel one chrysalis and still have one left at home. Perhaps I will catch it on video next time if I am lucky.