Tag Archives: monarch caterpillar photos

Summer Photos from My Yard

It seems like every time I walk outside into my yard these days, I walk right back inside…to get my camera.  Most of the pictures in this post are recent, though a few are from previous years.  I haven’t had a chance to share them until now.  The photo of the praying mantis is pretty cool…

See, I told you it was cool!

See, I told you it was cool!

A busy bee visiting the milkweed.

A busy bee visiting the milkweed.

A blue dragonfly on Buddha's bald spot.

A blue dragonfly on Buddha’s bald spot.

Rock purlsane, aloe, and zinnia flowers.

Rock purslane, aloe, and zinnia flowers.

My favorite orange hibiscus.

My favorite orange hibiscus.

Sunny, sunny sunflower.

Sunny, sunny sunflowers.

A big, fat raccoon who invaded our yard to binge on grapes a few years back.

A big, fat raccoon who invaded our yard to binge on grapes a few years back.

Monarch chrysalis tryptych.  The crysalises get darker as the butterfly inside gets ready to hatch.

Monarch chrysalis triptych. The chrysalises get darker as the butterfly inside gets ready to hatch.  I can’t decide if it looks like an alien waiting to attack, or Batman waiting to save the day.

Soon we will have home grown cherry tomatoes.

Soon we will have home grown cherry tomatoes.

A grasshopper, taking a break from eating my tomato plant.

A grasshopper, taking a break from eating my tomato plant.

Spiders we call "Writing Spiders", because they have squiggles in their webs.

Spiders we call “Writing Spiders”, because they have squiggles in their webs.

A dove.  WHO WOO HOO HOO...

A dove. WHO WOO HOO HOO…

A newly hatch Monarch  butterfly.  The colors and pattern were so crisp and intense.

A newly hatched Monarch butterfly. The remnant of its cocoon is hanging underneath the pot lip on the upper right.  The colors and patterns on the wings and body were so crisp and intense.

Monarch caterpillar on the left, Swallowtail on the right.

Monarch caterpillar on the left, Swallowtail on the right.

And finally, Julius hiding behind the milkweed, waiting for the dove to come off of the fence so he can pounce!

And finally, Julius hiding behind the milkweed, waiting for the dove to come off of the fence so he can pounce!

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Monarch Butterfly A – B – C

1. Monarch header

We live on a canyon in Southern California, which is incredibly awesome, except for the few weeks of the year when the dry Santa Ana winds blow and everyone worries (not unreasonably) about wildfire.  I love the up close view I get of nature.  Hawks, quail, crows, owls, and many other types of birds, rattlesnakes (!), lizards, racoons, opossums, coyotes, bobcats (we found entrails deposited by our front door just after moving in), rats (my cat killed one and tried to bring it in the house) and all kinds of insects.  Little did I know what I was missing though, until I got a milkweed plant a few years ago.

Monarch caterpillars are like koalas and pandas, in that they eat only one thing.  And for monarchs that one thing is milkweed.  There used to be fields and fields of milkweed, but because of herbicide use and habitat loss, the number of plants across the nation has dwindled.  If you love monarchs and want a show that lasts for months (at least in Southern CA), put some milkweed plants in your yard or in a big pot on your patio!

I was amazed at how many butterflies visited.  They came in and out over hours as I worked in my yard.  Hundreds of small, white eggs were laid, and hatched into loads of caterpillars.  At one point I had so many caterpillars that they ate my plant down to sticks and stems (not one leaf was left), and I had to load caterpillars up in a box and drive around Tierrasanta looking for other milkweed plants to transfer them onto so they could have food to eat.

Needless to say, all this action was a photographer’s bonanza.  I have nearly 700 photos I have taken over the past 2 years.  I know that this is excessive, possibly crossing the line into obsessive.  There, I admitted my problem, which is one of those 12 steps.  Because of all those photos, I have been putting off writing this because how was I supposed to winnow them down to fit in a blog post?  Ah Ha!! (I thought to myself), the ALPHABET.  Only 26 letters!!  That’s how!

Well, sort of.  I put in two or three photos for some letters, because I couldn’t control myself.  So my alphabet has 52 entries instead of 26.  I know it is a lot (actually 2 times what I planned), but I guarantee that each and every one of them is super cool.  Check them out, be amazed at the beauty of nature, the cycle of life, and one woman’s inability to stop taking photos, no matter how many pics of these little fellas she already had.  And be grateful that she did.

(Click on the images for a better view)

Adult

A - Adult

Babies

B - Babies

Blur

B - Blur

Chrysalis

C - Chrysalis

Count

C - Count

Curled Up

C- Curled up

Dracula

D- Dracula

Eat

E - Eat

Eggs

E - Eggs

Elevated

E - Elevated

Feet

F - Feet

Finger Dancer

F - Finger dancer

Going In

G - Going in

Goin’ My Way?

G - Going my way?

Green Leaf

G - Green

Generations

G- Generations

Hanging Out

H - Hanging out

Holey Leaf Batman!

H - Holey leaf Batman!

Hatchlings

H -Hatching

Incandescent

I - Incandescent

Just J

J - Just J

Kaleidoscope

K - Kaleidoscope

Karaoke

K - Karaoke

Ladder

L - Ladder

Laying An Egg

L - Laying eggs

Most Interesting Caterpillar in the World

M - Most interesting caterpillar in the world

Num Num Num…

N - Num num num

Operation Relocation

O- Operation Relocation

Pair o’ Pillars

P - Pair

Planting Milkweed Seeds

P - Planting

Platform

P - Platform

Praying

P- Prayer

Que Pasa?

Q - Que pasa?

Ring Finger

R - Ring finger

Seeds

S - Seed

Sharp Little Pointy Feet

S - Sharp and pointy

Stripey

S - Stripey

Swinging on a Leaf

S- Sawing off the wrong end

Transferring to a New Location

T - Transfer

Teeny Tiny

T- Teeny tiny

Triple Play

T- Triple play

Ugly Duckling

U - Ugly duckling

Upside Down

U - Upside down

Underneath

U -Under

Very Long

V - Very long

Wings

W - Wings

Whole Mess a Monarchs

W- Whole mess a monarchs

X-Wing Fighter

X -X wing fighter

Yellow is Yummy

Y- Yellow is yummy

Zoom In

Z - Zoom in

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Filed under Arts/Crafts/Photography, Gardens/Plants/Nature, Science