A Photo a Day of Christchurch New Zealand

Monarch Caterpillars and Sunflowers


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.


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


Monarch Caterpillar Chrysalis

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


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.


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.

About the Author:


Michelle is a Christchurch web designer and photography fan living in Christchurch New Zealand.

1 Comment

  1. TheChieftess on January 25, 2013 at 7:12 am

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

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