I started preparing for being a Monarch Buddy the week before school started (post about the prep here). By the time I delivered the larvae and leaves to the school at the end of the second day of school, I’d had further adventures.
The monarch egg that I’d gotten from the school garden on August 31st, hatched on September 3rd! I was checking it so frequently that I managed to take a picture before it ate its egg case! Compare the size of the caterpillar and its egg case just above to the straight pin used to hold the original leaf to a fresh leaf.
Twenty-four hours later the tiny caterpillar had eaten some holes on the fresh milkweed leaf and had visible stripes. It was still very tiny when it went to the school.
Wednesday morning, I had 2 of the 4 caterpillars making chrysalises. I was panicked because I wanted the school to have at least three caterpillars and I had only 2 (and 3 chrysalises).
I went outside and found no caterpillars – just lots of chrysalises. Then – in the tender top leaves of a milkweed – I found a tiny caterpillar about the size of the one that had hatched on the 3rd. I was thrilled and quickly set up to take it to the school later in the day. I ended up with two very small caterpillars, one medium to large caterpillar, and 3 chrysalises….and a gallon Ziploc of milkweed leaves that – hopefully – will feed the caterpillars of a few days at the school.