Today, August 6, 2015, I walked out onto the backyard patio at about 6:50am and had to run back into the house and grab my phone. The Gulf Fritillary Butterflies were emerging!
I missed them popping out by about 5 minutes ... but was able to watch them "learn" how to be a
B U T T E R F L Y
I love these EYES!
Still hanging on to the chrysalis
This guy let me get really close ...
and these wings look like they are almost ready to take flight.
The 2nd little guy is still drying and still not wanting to let go of that chrysalis!
You can see that her wings are still not dry and are not fully expanded.
I LOVE this FACE!!!!
Still hanging on to that chrysalis ...
The striped abdomen is a true fashion statement next to the psychedelic silvery white underside of the wings!
Starting to flutter those beautiful velvety wings!
Those wings look ready to FLY!
You can see the 2nd butterfly in the background and you can see how their markings are the same. The one long white oval with the black dot that looks like an eye ... you can see that on BOTH of them!
I took this picture showing how tightly she was holding on to her chrysalis!
I find it fascinating that they pop out and the chrysalis stays almost completely intact and is strong enough to hold them while they are drying and learning how to be a butterfly!
When will you fly??? It's now 7:30am
ABSOLUTELY gorgeous ... if you look on the right side of the picture you can still see "the twin" not moving or fluttering ....
Click on the video to see her getting ready to fly!
Here she is walking up the trellis and then as she got to the top ... she took off flying!
When this butterfly took off for the first time I was actually shocked to see how awkward of a flyer she was ... she made it to the tomato garden and as I crept up on her this is what I found ...
She was upside down hanging on to this weed! She was there for about 5 minutes and I was hoping she didn't hurt herself! But, just as caterpillars show perseverance -- so did this butterfly!
But, I really like seeing the underside markings!
She flipped herself over, and flew into the middle of the yard -- NOW ... Muffin and Shadow were very curious and love chasing butterflies ... so I had to make sure a BIG FURRY PAW didn't accidentally step on her .... so I guarded her in the grass and as a THANK YOU
She opened her wings for me ... SO PRETTY!!!!!!
She took off again and was all jittery and jerky and made it to the fence!
This is when I noticed the white spots on her head ...
She would fly around the backyard and kept coming back to this spot before she flew off ... at about 8:00 am she left the yard!
Just as the 1st butterfly left the yard, the 2nd butterfly let go of the chrysalis and flew to the plant right next to the Passion Flower ...
These eyes are incredible and look at that proboscis (which is their "tongue" that is like a straw that drinks nectar!)
She seemed a little more "shy" to take off and fly!
Or she just wanted to pose for a couple pictures before she left her home.
It was as if she did this on purpose for a FUNNY picture!!!!
She liked hanging upside down to soak in the sun ...
She finally did take off and was shaky ... but landed on the top of fence and then by about 8:20am flew over the fence and on her journey!
and ... here is an empty chrysalis ... and two of my butterflies have spread their wings and have taken flight! Bittersweet ....
Out of 13 caterpillars, 2 just emerged, 2 more are in their chrysalis and 2 placed their chrysalis in a precarious spot and because of the HEAT, have died ... the chrysalis turned a deep black ...
I'm not sure where the other caterpillars are hiding ... but I hope they found a safe place to make their chrysalis ...
Today, I also purchased a NEW Passion Flower Plant from
The person who walked me to find the plant was so helpful and was lots of fun to talk to about the caterpillar! This plant actually has 2 caterpillar on it -- but is a LOT heartier than my first plant ...
so ... The Life Cycle continues!