The queen caterpillars we found on our milkweed plants have grown, pupated and are about to hatch. We see one of the chrysalids (butterfly pupa) turn from a spring green to a dark color signifying the impending birth of the adult butterfly. Soon the butterfly breaks free of the chrysalis, hangs on to the shell of the pupae and drips off. We watch as the delicate creature pumping life supporting fluids throughout its body and inflating its wings. Once fully expanded, the wings are opened to allow the sun to dry them off. Once dried the Queen alights and in a moment it is gone.
A few days later as Anne and I are checking the milkweed plants, Anne excitedly points to a Queen butterfly laying eggs on one of the milkweed plants. We wonder if it is the same one that hatched from out milkweed patch. If so, we look forward to seeing her children.