Wednesday, January 21, 2009

From caterpillar to butterfly

Have you ever seen a caterpillar and wonder how they turn into butterflies? Have you ever seen a cocoon and wondered what was in it? I saw a Monarch laying eggs one day and started taking photos daily of her and the eggs progress.
The first photo is a collage of the process. What a fascinating experience. I sat outside all day with the camera waiting for the transformation to start. Then took photos as fast as I could for 10 minutes.
When viewed large you can see another egg just above where she is laying in #1.
#2 is what they call the J shape. This lets you know the caterpillar is ready to change. She (as I found out later) hung like this for about 8 hours that I know of before the change.
In #3 the antennae are limp, the change has started and goes very quickly!
#8 was amazing. It rocked and squirmed all different shapes until it settled on the final well-known shape.
Monarch Forming Chrysalis Collage

In this next photo the Monarch caterpillar is just starting to change to a chrysalis.
Monarch Caterpillar

I could not for the life of me see what was happening other than the outer skin was being pushed up in the next photo.
Monarch Forming Chrysalis

Here is the beautiful chrysalis all done. It went so very fast!
Monarch Chrysalis

Just moments away. The waiting is killing me! The chrysalis is actually clear. You can see the butterfly wings. When it is green, it is really the caterpillar you are seeing. Then when it really turns clear, you see the butterfly inside. I had this chrysalis sitting on a counter next to the computer. I watched for a while, took the photos then turned back to the pc. When I looked again about 5 minutes later, she had come out of the chrysalis! Oh, the excitement.
Monarch Ready To Emerge

This is the female that I raised. She emerged and took about 2 hours to dry off. I put her outside on a flower leaf and watched her until she took her first flight. I almost cried when she flew away. She did fly back to me a few times but then she was gone to make her own life.
Sooner Or Later They All Leave The Nest, or In This Case, The Chrysalis

Just a week after my first female flew, this guy decided to make a break for freedom. This guy is less than an hour old. The 2 dark spots on each side of the wing show it's a male.
My Second To Fly Away

I hope you enjoyed this little show. Maybe it answered a few of your questions. :)

15 comments:

AwtemNymf said...

Goodness Gracious woman! You take some of the MOST beautiful Nature photo's I've ever seen! The colors- the pictures- the process- you've got a great eye! WOW!!!
WOW!!!
~A~

Catherine said...

Your pictures are incredible. What a wonderful journey to have pictures of -- a caterpillar's journey to butterfly. Thank you for sharing!

Margaret said...

Stupendous amazing photography,Thanks for the priviliage .

Shashi Nayagam said...

What lovely photographs thanks for sharing.

Vickie said...

This was so amazing and your pictures are way out of this world! We loved it all! Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

Linda Fleming said...

Wow! What fascinating photos! Amazing photography.
Welcome back to Florida. I see in your profile you were born in Canton- I lived there as a kid and young adult on and off for about 8 years.

Cheryl said...

Fabulous!! Thank you for sharing. I am in awe. How neat that you not only watched this happen but got these photos. One of the neatest things I have ever seen in my life.

Dandelion Quilts said...

How neat! Thanks for sharing. Thanks, too, for all of the lovely comments you have left me, too. I will pull this up for buddy tomorrow...he will think these pictures are so neat.

Kerry said...

This is facinating and wonderful photography, thanks for sharing!

Chookyblue...... said...

wow this pics are amazing.......nature is amazing.........what sort of camera did you use?........

Mel said...

OH, MY GOSH!!!! Thank you so much for sharing that!! What a spiritual experience!! I'm going to put a link to this post on my blog!

Christine said...

That is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. Butterflies have a very special meaning to me. I was ill for several years with cardiomyopathy and ended up having a heart transplant in September 2007. I have always had a passion for butterflies but they took on a special meaining at that time. I likened the metamorphysis to my disease and recovery. When I was ill, I was the caterillar only able to crawl around. During the recovery from the transplant, I was in my cacoon, resting and then morphed into a beautiful butterfly.

A few months after the transplant, I found out that my donor was from Mariposa County California. If you don't know, Mariposa is Spains for butterfly.

I just thought I would tell you that little story to let you know that your art really touches.

Butterlfly blessing to you!

Kathy Frye said...

Melbourne, Fl Hi Carla, Your pictures are amazing! When I'm well enough I raise butterflies, also. Usually I get the Sulphur (yellow) butterflies because of my Cassia plants. Keep up the beautiful work.
Kathy Frye

jessyrei said...

Hi Carla,

I was browsing through Google to find photos of different stages in a butterfly's life. Then, I suddenly bumped into your beautiful blog! Your little show is indeed wonderful! And I would like to ask for your permission to copy the photos as a material for my lesson, may I? :) Thank you for sharing this to all of us! God bless!

Rei

Carla said...

Rei, thank you for asking. I tried to email you back but you are set to no reply. Yes you may but I would like to know a little more about your lessons. I tried to go to your blog but you don't have one either. Carla