That certainly describes this Monarch Journey I've been on. Seems I wasn't quite prepared for the arrival of these critters & all the details needed to raise them. But, I'm committed to their survival so I read and researched and now I feel like I'm sort of an unofficial official on raising Monarchs!
Right before a butterfly emerges they go from that beautiful jade green, to black, to clear. At this point if you want to watch a butterfly emerge, you can not take your eyes off of it for one minute...you'd miss it all...it happens that fast!
The newly emerged butterfly hangs onto the chrysalis for dear life for at least an hour. Their wings will unfurl and fill with fluid. After that hour they slowly start to crawl up anything that's near. When they are ready to go...you just know. At the same token, when they're not ready to go they just hang out!
Theres' actually one on my head too.
The difference between the male and the female are the two dark spots on the males lower wings.
I'm happy to announce that so far 11 males and 12 females have emerged & have been set free to continue on their own journey. There are 8 chrysalis left and a few of those will be emerging in a day or so. I have one caterpillar left who just did it's "J" hang and will be emerging hopefully in about 2 weeks. The temps are cooler now and that has a lot to do with how fast they emerge. Life is quickly returning to B.B. (Before Butterflies!) Today, I realized just how much time and energy I've put into this venture. The rewards are priceless and outweigh every penny spent and every lost moment of sleep and worry. I've been able to hold every butterfly and say my goodbyes as they go free.
My heart is full knowing that in some small way, and with a little luck, I've helped kept this amazing going.
Happy (butterfly) Snapping