Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Contented Cat, Monarch Chrysalis and a Rose

I couldn't resist taking a photo of Kim last night - she seemed to be so content.  I also went out to try and capture a photo showing the gold line around the chrysalis but it didn't show up very well.  While I was at it I snapped one of our roses.  This bush is usually covered for a large part of the year but we have had a period with no flowers so it is good to see it blooming once again.

Out watering at 7 a.m. this morning while the Personal Cares lady was helping my hubby.  Right now it is 31degrees C in the porch outside the front door.  I walked up to the village as I had several errands along the way.  No wonder I felt exhausted on my return.

I think there are seven chrysalises - all except one are hanging from the leaves of the orchids under the swan plant.  I haven't managed to see any of the caterpillars in the process of changing to a chrysalis so the odds of seeing a butterfly emerge are not good.

A couple of houses along from us is a row of seven swan plants but there are no caterpillars - it appears the wasps are eating them as soon as they emerge - I had thought of transferring some caterpillars there if we ran out of food but have changed my mind!!!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Monarch Butterflies Update

This morning at about 7.30 I checked the swan plant and discovered that two of the caterpillars had moved onto an orchid plant and were preparing to turn into the chrysalis stage.  When I checked again at about 12.30 one of them on the orchid and another on the swan plant were already chrysalises.

I was amazed at how quickly this  change had occurred.  I see that it is approximately two weeks for the butterflies to emerge - so watch this space!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


While taking photos of the Monarch caterpillars I took a couple of the nearby Hoya.  This plant was given to us by my husband's late cousin many years ago.  It sat in the verandah of our previous home, never flowering, and one day he moved it outside in the rain to give it a drink and a wash.

Unfortunately, it got left there and the leaves got a bit burnt.  I came to the rescue and put it under a tree where it flowered for the first time.  When we moved here we brought it with us (still in the small pot).  The previous owner had a Hoya in the same position growing up the trellis so I planted it (pot and all) and it has flowered each year.  (this is the third).  They are wonderful flowers looking almost as though they are made of wax.  I think it is generally considered a house plant.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Monarch Butterflies

We love to see the Monarch Butterflies in the garden so when I was clearing at the side of the house I left the small Swan Plant on which their caterpillars feed.  In recent days I have noticed caterpillars on the bush (if one could call it that as it is not very big and getting eaten rapidly).

Some of the caterpillars are quite large whereas the only one to be in the chrysalis stage is the smallest one.

There are so many caterpillars on it that I removed one yesterday to a smaller plant I had noticed elsewhere in the garden hoping that, in fact, it is the same plant.  First thing this morning I checked and found the small caterpillar quite happy and growing rapidly.

Earlier in the year there was just one caterpillar on the plant but it vanished so I presume it had been attacked by a wasp or some other predator.  I just hope that we have enough feed for these ones.