|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.|