The Monarch Butterfly Struggles

Well, I don’t know if anyone else is as interested in saving the Monarch Butterfly Population as I, but here is my dilemma! After several months of searching for the only host plant the Monarch will lay her eggs on (milkweed) I finally found four. I planted them quickly in hopes that soon a female would arrive and lay her eggs. Ive seen this whole process in the past, so I was aware of all the dos and donts. She showed up like clockwork and layed at least 12 eggs. After several weeks, the tiny eggs hatched and so the milkweed feast erupted. The caterpillars became larger and larger….nice, healthy and plump. As time went by, (and I checked on them daily) I started to notice less and less cats. Well, Ive seen them hide in some pretty good places so I didn’t think much about it until a good friend of mine that I call the “Butterfly Whisperer” started out with a hundred caterpillars, which became very sick with some kind of virus. She lost everyone of them (insert sad face)!  Today, I went out to check and found that one had actually planted and turned into a chrysalis! You can only imagine my excitement as I ran into the house to grab my camera. Took a few pictures only to find my battery was low, so I came in to replace it and upon arrival (insert sad face) the poor thing was dead and looked like it was chopped in half. At first I thought a lizard must have eaten it, but I had remembered that birds nor reptiles will eat them. Not sure what really happened, but was curious if anyone else has seen this unfortunate demise with the monarch caterpillars. Feel free to comment what your thoughts on this are. I can use all the advise I can get! ImageImageImage

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