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WNIJ Perspectives

Perspective: Monarch Mama

I am a monarch mama.

If you’ve never raised a monarch butterfly from an egg to a full grown, beautiful butterfly, you really should try it. It is really quite simple.

Klepper.jpg

You just need milkweed plants, a large jar, a rubber band and some cheesecloth or screening for the top of the jar. Butterflies love milkweed and deposit their eggs on the leaves of the plant, often on the underside. The eggs are a very pale yellow, almost butter colored, and they are perfectly round. If you find one on a leaf, pull the leaf off and place it in your jar. No more than two or three eggs per jar. Then, the fun begins.

From that tiny and perfect egg, they will turn into little yellow, black and white striped caterpillars which grow in size and appetite. Add more milkweed to the jar as they eat it. Spoiler alert: they poop. As they get bigger in size, the poop gets larger. Maybe double the size of a peppercorn.

After the caterpillar stage they magically transform into the chrysalis, a green pendant which attaches to the cheesecloth or screening. At this stage, your patience has to take over.

In about a week the chrysalis will change in color and right before the butterfly emerges, it will turn translucent, so you can actually see the butterfly’s orange and black wings. Then one day a stunning butterfly will be waiting for you. After their wings are dried they are cleared for take-off.

I’m Rosie Klepper, and that’s my perspective. 

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