We have our first chrysalis from the caterpillars! It formed overnight, so we can't say really whether Tuesday or Wednesday would be the right answer. So lets just say anybody who guessed either Tuesday or Wednesday was right! So Katie Isabella, Annie, Cody, Island Cats, and Beaded Tail were all correct!
Now let us take you on a little journey about how this happens. When the caterpillar is finished eating all it is going to eat, it does an extra large poop, and soon after that, it drops from the plant, in our case onto the deck. Dad was surprised that the first one to do that didn't look like one of the biggest ones so he put it back. Two more times it dropped off and started to crawl away, so finally he took it seriously and put it into a plexiglass box with some twigs. This was on Monday. It hung out on a twig and by yesterday morning looked like this (notice the threads holding it to the twig and the curved shape - click to biggify):
View from the other side - Audrey in the background (this IS a FELINE blog, after all!):
A little snuggle with Dad:
By yesterday afternoon we had a second caterpillar on its way towards becoming a chrysalis - in the background of this picture:
If we can count right, there seem to be four who motored off when we were not looking overnight on Monday night. There once were 18, now only 14. Here is a really big one:
And now this is what the humans saw first thing this morning: The chrysalis is the center of the picture, looks like a piece of the twig sticking out.
Here it is with the picture cropped. If you look really closely you can still see the segmented nature towards the left side. Overnight it must have gone through a green stage of the chrysalis but we were not watching then.
The second one has not yet, but has its curved shape and threads in evidence. Maybe we will be able to see more of the transition during the day.
Looks like rain today so we will put the box in the garage. The plan is to try and capture another two of them but to let the others go and make their chrysali wherever their instinct tells them. Of course we will release the butterflies into the yard when they emerge,