I went out to weed the gardens outside our house yesterday morning at Struan Farm. At least that was my intention, since we've got the Piopio Senior Citizens coming to visit next week and the weather forecast for the next few days isn't good. But I got waylaid. By butterflies, monarch butterflies.
I'd noticed that some of the chrysalis (or the "chrysalides") had hatched, and went to have a closer look.
I discovered a young monarch that appeared to be recently hatched resting on the wild carrot flowers near the swan plant that had hosted most of the caterpillars.
I then saw butterflies on the sedum plant, and on the echinops. I ran inside with my boots on and grabbed my camera. I saw them hatching, pulling themselves out of their chrysalides and opening and stretching their wings. I went back to where I saw that first butterfly and found two more had hatched. I started to leave but found six more on the astrantia, two chrysalides hatching simultaneously, with one more starting to happen. It's as if the word went out that it was time to burst forth. I counted over 20 new monarch butterflies, and that would be conservative. There are still more chrysalides to hatch. There were chrysalides we hadn't noticed, had overlooked because they were so carefully hidden and protected.
I witnessed small miracles yesterday here at Struan Farm, really. Suffice it to say that the garden didn't get weeded and that particular bed won't be weeded for awhile. I'll need to explain that to the seniors, but I'm sure they'll understand.