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Join our team to help restore Monarch butterflies across North America.
Join our team to help restore Monarch butterflies across North America.
82 backers pledged $8,013 to help bring this project to life.

Part 3 - 38 Monarchs Released! 15 More on the Way!

Hi again!

Our "grandkids" needed some help along the way, so, working together, Leo and I used duct tape and a needle and thread to make sure they could develop safely.

This lovely group were too close together, so we carefully clipped off the twigs they were on and hung them elsewhere.
This lovely group were too close together, so we carefully clipped off the twigs they were on and hung them elsewhere.
This one was on a leaf that had been almost devoured.
This one was on a leaf that had been almost devoured.
This one was on a leaf that was wedged between two other leaves.
This one was on a leaf that was wedged between two other leaves.
And this one was hanging by a thread and needed reinforcement.
And this one was hanging by a thread and needed reinforcement.

Drum roll, please! 

The big day finally arrives! 4 monarchs emerge inside between 8:00am and 12:30pm. 

However, we still have 34 chrysalises left. 

The day before a chrysalis is ready to emerge, it turns dark. The chrysalis itself is clear, but the colorful wings and body of the developing monarch within begin to show through.  Now that we have discovered what the signs are, we planned on getting up early the next day (July 10th) and letting most of the monarchs emerge as nature intended - in the garden! 

The chrysalis begins to split from the bottom and what looks like a "hatch door" spreads wider and wider until the monarch begins to slip out head first.
The chrysalis begins to split from the bottom and what looks like a "hatch door" spreads wider and wider until the monarch begins to slip out head first.
Next, the distended belly of the monarch pops out as the monarch holds onto the chrysalis.
Next, the distended belly of the monarch pops out as the monarch holds onto the chrysalis.
The belly is filled with fluid that is slowly pumped into the wings to expand them.
The belly is filled with fluid that is slowly pumped into the wings to expand them.
The monarch clings to the chrysalis until its wings fully expand. They will not be fully formed and hard enough to fly for at least a few hours, so we were on "monarch watch" to make certain no harm came to it during this time.
The monarch clings to the chrysalis until its wings fully expand. They will not be fully formed and hard enough to fly for at least a few hours, so we were on "monarch watch" to make certain no harm came to it during this time.
Still in complete awe, we marveled at how a gorgeous creature like this could turn into a stunning monarch butterfly within 30 days!
Still in complete awe, we marveled at how a gorgeous creature like this could turn into a stunning monarch butterfly within 30 days!
6 monarchs rest and nectar on white Yarrow.
6 monarchs rest and nectar on white Yarrow.
A male monarch is identified by the two dark spots in the veins closest to his body.
A male monarch is identified by the two dark spots in the veins closest to his body.
A female monarch is identified by thicker black veins and the absence of black spots.
A female monarch is identified by thicker black veins and the absence of black spots.
Our favorite image - a healthy monarch nectaring on swamp milkweed in the Monarch Waystation that YOU helped make possible!!! THANK YOU!
Our favorite image - a healthy monarch nectaring on swamp milkweed in the Monarch Waystation that YOU helped make possible!!! THANK YOU!

OMG! That's not the end of it! While we were working outside with the monarchs, a wild monarch fluttered by and started laying eggs!!! We collected 19 new eggs over two days!

If that wasn't enough, Julene Lisota, the very first donor to our Kickstarter project, spotted an inch long caterpillar within the milkweed while she was assisting Leo work with a chrysalis!

Our journey begins again...

Thank you all...we couldn't have done it without YOU!

Dorothy & Leo