Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Monarch Chrysalis in the Woodland Garden

Just to follow up on the Monarch Caterpillar I posted on Tuesday ... and a big shout out to Shady Gardener for her comment providing us with such great information about the progress to expect over the next few days! Thanks so much, Shady! (Need any more Monarda? LOL)

This afternoon, after Fernymoss got back from work, I was telling him what we might see be able to expect from the caterpillar, so he had to grab the camera and head out to get some shots of what has happened since he first discovered it back on August 24. Lo and behold, our friend is well on its way to full adulthood and will probably emerge within the next few days and then wing on out on its migration south (perhaps after lingering here a while I hope...). We both are really excited about its decision to undergo its metamorphosis in our humble Woodland Garden, but apparently it was an inviting enough place for it to undergo the most important phase of its life so far. We feel really flattered and privileged that it has chosen our garden which, as most know by now, we try to make as butterfly friendly as we can by planting some of their favorite feeding and resting places. I think that this year, we definitely hit pay dirt for a bit of butterfly love, and from all possible ones, it's a Monarch!

In this shot you can clearly see the outline of the fully formed wings through the still somewhat opaque chrysalis, but according to Shady, it should clear up gradually as emergence time approaches. Also note the interesting gold spots on the outside of the chrysalis .. I'm not sure exactly what those are all about in the greater scheme of things, but they surely mark this butterfly in the making as a Monarch. Never fear, we'll be out every day now until it emerges to chronicle the progress going on just outside of the living room windows! So stay tuned, so to speak....

Work is shaping up to be another busy week, so I offer my apologies in advance if I miss a post or two here, or if I don't visit the other great garden blogs that I've been in the habit of haunting the past several months. I have to admit that I was a bit lax last week, due in part to the Democratic Convention (yes, I'm a political junkie if you hadn't figured that out yet) and part due to work demands, so I got a little slackerly on keeping up with things around here and the garden blogosphere.

I usually try to keep politics out of the garden here, but there are some times when I'm compelled to devote a post or a link or two to the election, and the truly inspiring acceptance speech last Thursday by Barack Obama is one of those exceptions. If you're one of the over 40 million people who saw it live last week, you know what I mean ... and in my opinion, it was truly the best political speech I've heard in my lifetime (if not in several generations), not to mention its historic proportions. Yes, I've heard all the major Kennedy speeches over the years (though I was but a toddler when he ran for president), and in my estimation, Obama rose to those legendary heights and then managed to go even further as he laid out his vision for his Presidency. We watched it live and we were both electrified and energized by the power of this man's vision and were left, quite simply, overwhelmed. On MSNBC that night, even Pat Buchanan (yes, that Pat) had nothing but praise for Obama and gushed on endlessly to my surprise.

Folks, if you didn't see this speech in its entirety, you owe it to yourselves to watch, no matter what your own opinions may be regarding the election. This is truly one for the ages, and will be cited in the history books one day, it's that brilliant. You can see it on YouTube here, in the unedited CSPAN high quality video from their website. This week, out of a somewhat masochistic sense of fairness, we also plan to watch the acceptance speeches of the Republican ticket, just to compare how their respective agendas play out at their convention. Then at least we can say we gave each side a fair shot at winning us over. Honestly, we're unlikely to be swayed, but we're going to try to at least approach it with an open mind. I would hope that more Americans would try to do the same, but I'm not holding my breath....


Gail said...

Fantastic Monarch chrysalis. I know that there are metamorphosing creatures at clay and limestone, but they have hidden themselves too well! Looking forward to more photos of your butterfly!


FARfetched said...

I could see the outline of the wings, too. How quickly does the pupal stage last, then? Seems like just a day or so ago it was just getting ready to spin.

All the live video streams I could find required WMV; and I finally said "screw it," found Cspan Radio in iTunes, and had a listen along with Mrs. Fetched. I got to thinking how a lot of people did the same thing nearly 50 years ago, but using a radio instead of a computer to listen to Kennedy. Obama doesn't need visuals. I might try listening to McSame to get a proper comparison.

Shady Gardener said...

That's a wonderful chrysalis photo! Thanks for keeping everyone "posted!" ;-)

Shady Gardener said...

Ohmygoodness, IVG! You need to visit Kylee at Our Little Acre. She's just posted a Wonderful Monarch metamorphosis, complete with video!

Shady Gardener said...

Oh, for heaven's sakes! I'm sorry I'm cluttering!! It's a long story, but I deleted the above "just because" it was unnecessary. Sorry.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Gail,
I'm sure you have some too, but there's so much space there it's got to be much easier to hide ... you'll just have to go exploring. And I hope you find better things than more scary spiders!

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey FAR (I've got a lot of catching up to do at your place! But I'll get to it!)

We think it should emerge sometime this week ... Shady Gardener said it usually lasts 7-10 days or so. Isn't that cool how you can see the wings?

You can't watch youtube videos? The link I posted was to the youtube post from CSPAN, so I thought most folks would be able to use that format....

I watched a couple of the R speeches tonight ... Huckabee and part of Ghouliani's, then the 'big event.' I just came away feeling a bit dirty and very nauseated that you can fool some of the people all the time....

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Shady!
We didn't get out tonight because it was so cool and rainy off and on, but tomorrow we will!

Thanks for that link! I'll have to check that out tomorrow ... the video sounds very cool!

No worries about clutter, lol. I cleaned up the rest for you. :-) Besides, you know you are always more than welcomed here and in our garden!

Gail said...


Scary spiders and biting itching creatures. Gail's blood bank for mosquitoes is parked at the wildflower bed!


Janet said...

IVG, things went alot smoother for both kids these last two days. Whew!

I'm still very scared about the future. You see more and more lies and then politicians who are going after our very families and their rights and privacy - telling us t hat politicians families are "off limits". What about my family? Why aren't they off limits to these wingnuts? Kinda killed the hope lovefest for me for a bit right now.

Only speech I want to hear his is acceptance speech :) Then maybe I can breathe easier. Untill then I'm keeping vigil and my feet marching.

boran2 said...

Constructed to provide the occupant a room with a nice view, no doubt.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Gail,
Being a mobile blood bank definitely is no fun! We had tons of mosquitoes in early summer, but they're not bad at all (we haven't had to spray since June). Maybe that means the bats have been having a heyday with them!

We love watching the bats come out and swoop around feeding, and we always give them praise and applause. :-)

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Janet,
Good to hear things are going well for the kids!

I agree that with all the mean spirited hypocrisy of these last 8 yrs (and longer), it's getting pretty hard to take.

Ugh, we saw that "speech" and were not impressed, in fact it seemed more just a pandering meandering laundry list of hot button "code" talk. I did whoop and applaud when the Code Pink gal started raising a ruckus. Of course she was treated with the same roughing up as that Ron Paul supporter they hauled out last night ... thugs.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey B2,
The view is still a bit cloudy (see update), but he's still out there getting ready!

FARfetched said...

Hey IVG… I can see YouTube at home OK (they block it at work), but I was talking about live streaming. I managed to avoid watching or listening to McSame… after three days of nastiness, a McLame call for bi-partisanship doesn't cut it.

Gail said...

Stopping by to say hey, but also for a selfish reason! I want you to see my photo of Dark Caracas leaves in today's post! Such a beautiful plant!


Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Howdy FAR,
Duh, I hadn't thought you meant streaming and was sure you had posted youtube stuff at your place before.

Sorry to be tardy here, but I've been sick the past several days and now am just starting to recover. I made myself suffer through that speech (probably what made me sick) and it was just infuriating it was so chock full of lies and smears... buckle up buddy, it ain't gonna be pretty the rest of the way out.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Gail,
Thanks for the visit just to say hi ... I've been sick since Friday and just now starting to recover (more on that later). I'll definitely stop by to see before I head off to bed!

Thanks for tipoff (but I would have made it there eventually, lol).

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