photo_090107_002.jpgWhen last I wrote about Little Joe, he was inside a lovely green chrysalis.  That lovely green chrysalis travelled with us to our new home hanging from a lid inside a toilet paper roll.  It was a good move for him.  After just a few short days in the new house, Little Joe’s chrysalis became transparent and we could see that he had become a beautiful monarch.  We all wanted to be around when he came out but alas he chose to emerge when we were running errands.  We came home and there he was in all of his glory.  As you can probably guess from the gender specific pronouns I am using, we finally found out that Little Joe was male.  For those of you who don’t know, male monarchs have spots on their hind wings that females do not.

I was thinking about blogging about Little Joe on the walk I took today down a country road.  I was pleased that we watched the entire life cycle of the monarch butterfly but a little sad that we were so busy packing up and moving during the chrysalis and emerging stage.  Then a truly amazing thing happened, one of those things that just can’t be coincidence.  I looked down and saw a very chubby, healthy looking monarch caterpillar happily munching away on some milkweed.  That piece of milkweed along with the big caterpillar are now in a jar on my kitchen counter.  We’re doing “take 2” on the chrysalis and emerging stages of the lifecycle of the monarch caterpillar.  I’ve named this lovely specimen Cleo.  Yes…I am hoping for a girl this time around.

D managed to snag the photo attached to this blog entry with his newly aquired, garage sale gadget – a hand held palm with a camera in it.  Unfortunately, Little Joe took off before we could get a picture of his lovely hind wing spots.  I think that time around my not so handy digital camera had dead batteries in it.  Good thing I have a tehno crazy son to photo document the beginning of a whole new stage of life for Little Joe!