One of the amazing results of planting butterfly weed (a type of milkweed) in my garden was that it attracted Monarch Butterflies. I never saw the original butterfly(ies) that laid eggs on my butterfly weed, but during the summer months, I found several very hungry (voracious) caterpillars eating my plants all the way down to the stem. And I was thrilled. That is why I planted those plants in my garden in the first place.

In August, I started to look for signs of any caterpillars getting ready to go into the pupa stage, forming a chrysalis. I didn’t see any.

But one day in early September, my husband called me outside. There, hanging off a rim of a garbage can was a chrysalis. From then on, my son was not allowed to use that garbage can. Thank God we had more than one!

Yesterday, I peaked at the garden after work. There was a Monarch Butterfly flying around and feeding on my zinnias. I quickly grabbed my camera and took a number of pictures. Could it be the butterfly from the chrysalis? Sure enough, the chrysalis was empty.

I can’t know for sure if this is the same butterfly but in either case, it was so amazing to witness the Monarch butterfly’s amazing cycle of life right in my own backyard. I am very happy on this Thankful Thursday. πŸ™‚

To find out more about Monarch Butterflies and how you can grow your own butterfly garden, check out The Wild Center.