I did happen upon Contingency Plan C, but as it turns out, it wasn’t needed. This third caterpillar was jumbo-size, dwarfing the little guy quite significantly. No matter – that little one provided a swift rebuttal to any and all size jokes in the form of a chrysalis. It seems that they come in all sizes. It also seems, as I’m now finding out, that the orientation of the chrysalis varies. The second chrysalis formed facing the opposite direction. Curious.
So the bug house I had (not so) cleverly housed them in? Horrible visibility! Again, what were they thinking? So I cut a giant hole in it, once all caterpillars had either pupated or glued themselves to the top of the house, and took out all of the wilty milkweed to open up the space so we could see the action. Somewhere in the midst of this process the first chrysalis became disconnected and fell to the bottom. Quick on my toes, I found a magnetic clip, secured the chrysalis carefully in it (by the caterpillar’s old skin – take a look closely at it!) and hung it from our kitchen chandelier, where it blends perfectly and magically with the prisms dangling all around.
Makes for a pretty fantastic photo shoot, no?
This last photo was shot moments ago. I’m hoping the darkening of the chrysalis is part of normal, healthy metamorphosis and not a result of that little disconnecting incident. I’d be so embarrassed if I killed two monarchs live on the blogwaves.