Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Life in captivity

Recently at the arboretum, I noticed this newly-planted milkweed covered with a protective wire cage. On the one hand, I wonder why they went to the trouble to do this, as the milkweed plants have self-seeded all over the arboretum and tend to grow like...weeds! But this particular plant is the yellow variety where nearly all the others are the orange-red, so maybe that's why.

Anyway, I know that the Monarchs visit the nursery and lay their eggs on the milkweeds growing there. I couldn't resist peeking through the wire to see if there were any caterpillars. I was not disappointed.

It's a sweet life for this caterpillar: A plant all to itself, and no worry about predators. But I will need to keep an eye on it after it pupates, so when the butterfly emerges, we can release it.
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