MONARCH CATERPILLARS ~ FIRECRACKER PLANT ~ QUEEN BUTTERFLY IN MY GARDEN
Firecracker plant is one of my most favorite plants EVER!
It is so wispy, fern like and lacey.
It gets very large, but does not interfere with other plants.
I can still see all flowers and colors right through those lacey fronds.
Butterflies really love it, too.
A couple of weeks ago, I saw my first monarch in the garden. A few more have visited, too.
Some are larger and some are smaller.
They have been very busy laying eggs for the "fourth generation".
I think this fourth generation does not move on to Mexico.
It stays here to lay eggs next spring.
This morning I counted 23 monarch caterpillars chewing on my large patch of butterfly weed. Because it is a "host" plant for the monarch caterpillars, I take care of it and feed it all summer just for the monarchs that will be passing through on their way to Mexico for the winter.
By the size of the caterpillars, I can tell which eggs were laid first ~ second ~ .....
I was going to rearrange and make changes in my garden. Because of these caterpillars, I will wait because their chrysalises will be attached to quite a few of the plants and flower pots.
There were 13 that were large like in the picture above.
Those are just about ready to crawl away and start that amazing transformation.
I will be looking for that shiny gold band of the chrysalis.
I think this is a "queen butterfly". It's easy to mistake them for a monarch butterfly.
Spring and fall just might be my very favorite times of the year.
Hoping my nature friends are enjoying fall and the cooler weather, too.