Christchurch Daily Photo

A photo a day of Christchurch New Zealand

Monarch Caterpillars and Sunflowers

January 24, 2013

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I’ve always loved watching monarch butterflies flying around in the garden – so I plant Swan Plants (milkweed) to ensure I get to enjoy them each year. My swan plants have gotten quite big and bushy and I had very few caterpillars on them. But all that changed in the last week or two. I suddenly noticed a lot of caterpillars at different sizes. Prior to that, I had seen a lot of monarchs visiting – often two at time.

monarch-caterpillars

As you can see, my neighbourhood is going to be flush with beautiful monarchs.

chrysalis

Monarch Caterpillar Chrysalis

I’ve only seen one chrysalis so far – they are hard to spot being the same colour as the plants.

sunflower2

My other summer project has been to grow some sunflowers from seed that were left in our mailbox. I sowed the seeds in late October and have given them a considerable amount of attention. I can imagine my neighbours saying to each other ‘there she goes again watering those sunflowers!’. My partner thinks it’s ironic that a ‘sun’ flower needs so much ‘rain’. So far I’ve had one flower on me, and I have another one getting close to flowering. I’m not sure how big the plants will get – it will be interesting to see.

sunflower-bud

I’ve never grown sunflowers before, so it’s an intriguing process watching them develop. I think I expected the flower to be big straight away – but it came out quite small and has developed a lot in the week or two that it’s been out.

Published on Thursday, January 24th, 2013, under Daily Photo

One Response to “Monarch Caterpillars and Sunflowers”

  1. TheChieftess says:

    Great shots!!! Lucky you to have Monarchs in your yard too!!!