Today, on my way home from work, I decided to bike along the midtown greenway to search for more eggs and to gather a stockpile of milkweed for my ever hungry and growing caterpillars. The hunt is incredibly satisfying for me. I kept my eyes peeled for clusters of milkweed along the greenway as I rode slowly by. Once spotted, I hopped off and spent a decent amount of time searching for my prized treasures. I focused on plants with large gaping holes in the leaves, knowing that these were most likely to reveal caterpillars hiding underneath. To my delight, I found a plant containing 2 caterpillars, but then later outdid myself by finding one with 3 of them and then 4 of them! I have never found very large caterpillars, so I was absolutely thrilled to stumble across a humongous one. My hands were so overladen with leaves that I emptied my lunchbox and used it as a carrier. I look forward to watching each and every one of these magnificent creatures transform into a gorgeous butterfly.
Currently the Monarch population is dwindling due to lack of milkweed acreage. In the wild, the chance of an egg making it to the butterfly stage is only 3 out of every 100 eggs laid. For more information and fun facts on these beauties check out National Geographic.
Each one of the above milkweed leaves contains a caterpillar egg.
My most recent acquisitions.
That extra large one, munching on his home plant. This guy will be the first to make a chrysalis in my household.