Yes, I raised a girl. At our Lewiston GardenFest, I purchased a caterpillar Monarch to raise and release in my garden. That was June 19th.
I took photos of the caterpillar, but must have erased them from the camera before I downloaded them. So no cute, little caterpillar photos.
How I got the photos was my little bundle of joy was an escape artist and found a way out of the netting. I caught her on the outside of the netting and carefully returned her to the Swamp milkweed plant inside the enclosure. She was a caterpillar for only two days of the time I had her. She spun a silk pad on which to hang and split open to reveal the chrysalis she would inhabit. I missed that process unfortunately as it happened after the sun went down.
During the evening she became a chrysalis, and a few mornings later from the liquid inside, you could just barely see the formation of wings starting to develop.
This image above and below was a few days later with wings almost completely formed. By the next morning, June 29 th., she was out flapping around inside the netting. I so wanted to see her emerge, but forgot about her after taking the chrysalis photos.
I really am losing my edge. I know previously, I would have made sure to sit and watch.
She was raised on Asclepias incarnata, like above, her little chrysalis hanging from a leaf. The orange butterfly weed below was where I set her free in the garden.
I decided since it was a bright sunny day with no breeze to release her to the flower-filled garden. She made a few passes to various flowers, then settled on the daylily bud to warm her wings.
She did scare me twice by clumsily flying off across the street, circling back to return to the garden both times. I did not want her plastered on a passing car windshield or flattened on the parkway.
By 1pm, she was gone, maybe on her way to Canada, or so I would like to think.