Over the last few weeks, I've been learning about the beautiful Monarch butterfly. One day, while cycling I noticed some monarch caterpillars on the milkweed plants along side the road. I decided to bring some home, milkweed and all, and set up a terrarium so that I could observe them. Wanting to learn more about them, I did a Google search and found a lot of interesting information.
This first image is of the male Monarch that I have photographed here, from caterpillar through the chrysalis stage, the emergence as a butterfly and finally the beautiful adult. I know it's an male because the black lines are very narrow compared to the orange areas. In a female the black lines and the orange areas are about the same width. I added one of Kim Klassen's textures (kk_vintage at softlight 100%), and then I used a trick I learned in Beyond Layers to add the opaque border.
Below is the storyboard showing the Monarch through all of the stages of metamorphosis. It's interesting to note that the chrysalis is clear. I'm not sure what gives it the bright green colour early on, but as it progresses, you begin to see the butterfly inside. At this stage you can already determine it's sex. I love the bright gold 'beads' that form on the chrysalis. You'll notice as the butterfly emerges, it 'unfolds' and begins to dry. It only takes a few minutes for the butterfly to emerge and reach the point where it hangs to dry, and then the drying stage takes a few hours before it is ready to takes it's first short flight.
In my case, that first short flight resulted in my beautiful fascinator. He seemed pretty content on my head, wandering around a bit but staying on my for about 30 minutes or so while I enjoyed a coffee and read out on the deck. Finally, when he was ready he flew off onto a nearby hemlock tree where he stayed until the next morning. Bonnie, how's this for an improbable pairing?
These photos are being linked to Photo Show Off, Texture Tuesday, Sweet Shot Tuesday, Our World Tuesday, This or That Thursdays, Photo Art Friday, Shoot, Edit, Submit, Fabulous Friday and Photo Friday Link Party.