March 9, 2016

From Caterpillar to Chrysalis

When we arrived at the travel trailer on Friday afternoon, several of the Monarch caterpillars in Happy Camper Butterfly Garden were on the move to find a suitable place to make a chrysalis.

A Monarch caterpillar leaving the garden.

We began to look for chrysalises that were already formed. There was a nice one under the picnic table right next to the garden.

Monarch chrysalis. Notice the shed caterpillar skin remaining at the top and the butterfly inside.

There was also one on the fire pit, but something had gone wrong with it.

A glitch in the process.

While we were searching, we watched a caterpillar crawl up the leg of the pit and begin forming a silk pad with its mouth on the underside of the grate.

Making a silk pad.

Later when we checked, it had turned around and attached itself to the pad, hanging upside down in the characteristic J shape.

Just attached and hanging in a J shape.

The next afternoon, I noticed it was beginning to look a little different and I knew the chrysalis would be coming soon. I hoped I would see it happen.

Getting ready for a change.

Of course, I stepped away at the wrong moment and missed it.

Just formed Monarch chrysalis, top view.

However, getting to see a freshly formed chrysalis is pretty wonderful, too.

Newly formed Monarch chrysalis. Notice the silk pad where it is attached to the grate.

There were three new chrysalises formed on Saturday: the one on the fire pit (above), one under a small ash shovel we keep on the fire pit (below), and one under a chair on the deck (not pictured).

Another Monarch chrysalis under the ash shovel.

As we were packing up to come home, there were still caterpillars leaving the garden. This guy was almost stepped on a couple of times, so we moved him to the sign out of the way.

A Monarch caterpillar at Happy Camper Butterfly Garden. Staged photo.

I was hoping he would like that spot for his chrysalis, but it seems he had other ideas.

A Monarch caterpillar in search of a place to form a chrysalis.
Good luck, little caterpillar!


  1. Wow, an amazing set of photos. It must be exciting to see that your WayStation is so successful.

    1. Being able to observe God's design in nature is truly awe inspiring!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, we do too. There's always something interesting to see in the garden.


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