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Milkweed plant in our Monarch butterfly garden

MONARCH BUTTERFLY SERIES: STAGE 2

If you read the Part 1 post in my Blog you’ll know that we have created a temporary monarch butterfly sanctuary in my art studio. If you have not read that post, I highly encourage you to read it before you continue, for context.

Caterpillar (larvae) munching on milkweed in our garden

Since that first stage of having ten caterpillars (larvae) in our sanctuary, we saw seven of them complete the full cycle of metamorphosis from egg (laid on our garden milkweed) to full adult monarch butterfly who in turn, lay more eggs.

The chrysalis, the closest one is about to shed the shell and the monarch butterfly will be “born”. (this photo is taken through the net mesh)

From the stage of the chrysalis, we observed and waited to see what magical change would happen next. From the green with gold speckles cocoon, the next visible change was the darkening in color of the cocoon. In reality, the shell of the cocoon becomes clear, the “darkening” is the black, vibrant oranges and golds that is the iconic and unique color profile of the monarch butterfly.

Soon after the butterfly emerges from her cocoon shell, she rests and pauses before she begins to carefully “pump her wings” and prepare to fly

It was amazing to observe each chrysalis morph from green, to monarch colors, then emerge from the shell of the cocoon and simply to rest as a full butterfly. At first the butterflies pause without movement, lasting about 1-2 hours. Once their now long legs, antenna and wings started to move a bit, we knew that within a few hours, they would be ready to be set free to fly…

Bringing her outside to continue her adult life and the cycle of life.
Saying goodbye and thank you for the blessings to this beauty.

This journey of hosting a monarch butterfly garden and being a steward to the ecosystem continues, we continue to provide and cultivate the milkweed providing nourishment for the monarchs. The experience of providing a safe sanctuary for a small number of these amazing butterflies has been an honor and joyful inspiration. Wow. Amazed. Nature is amazing!

Monarch from my Flora & Fauna Collection, mixed media on canvas, 16 X 16 inches available to purchase on my website.

Thank you for reading and following along on this journey with me. Feel free to comment below and connect with me via social media or better yet, share and subscribe to this blog and my art newsletter to stay in touch and be the first to know about my art announcements, NFT drops and in real life events.

http://www.lorieneck.com

In love, gratitude and beauty…

Lórien Signature fuschia_small

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Monarch, mixed media on canvas, 16X16 inches- Available for purchase

MONARCH BUTTERFLY SERIES: Part 1

As you know, I LOVE butterflies- monarch butterflies so so much! In our garden, we cultivate and provide a sanctuary for the monarchs to eat, rest and lay their eggs as they make their migration journey.

We have several milkweed plants- their preferred snack and have relished in the joy of their journey. Last season, we witnessed one of their new cocoons (green and metallic gold!) in it stage of creation. One day it was there, the immediate next, vanished. After some sharing and discussion about this with my young art students, we deducted that maybe a bird ate our little cocoon.

Flash forward to today, in an effort to support the full maturation of our beautiful monarchs, we have created a monarch sanctuary in my art studio. This safe space is simply some milkweed, coconut fiber as a base and a large net “container”. So far, we have 10 caterpillars in short-term residence. Six are in their green/gold cocoon stage, three in the cocoon pre-phase (hanging upside down and attached to the structure) and one is still munching on the milkweed, but slowing down.

More to come as I share in photos and art about this metamorphosis. In the meantime, this painting above is one of my butterfly tributes, entitled, Monarch from my Flora & Fauna Collection, it is available to purchase on my website.

Feel free to comment below and connect with me via social media or better yet, share and subscribe to this blog and my art newsletter to stay in touch and be the first to know about my art announcements, NFT drops and in real life events.

http://www.lorieneck.com

In love, gratitude and beauty…

Lórien Signature fuschia_small

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