It was there… I was looking at the reward for planting common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) in my backyard. Several times the hubby almost pulled it because he thought it was a weed (well it is), I pleaded for him to leave it and to look the other way.
And there it was. A monarch caterpillar (Danaus plexippus). To say I was ecstatic was an understatement.
The first year, one single milkweed happened to grow unexpectedly. Year two, it multiplied to a few plants. During year two, I took the seeds from the pods and spread them all over the sunny side of the backyard. This year, year three, there are many milkweed…even four which happened to grow on the other side of the fence.
Unfortunately, a few hours after I discovered the monarch caterpillar it was gone. I looked above and below each leaf of every milkweed. Gone.
There are two possibilities:
To prevent my heart from being broken over another lost caterpillar (click here to read about the black swallowtail caterpillar), I’m going to stick with the optimistic version.
To make sure I help the Monarch butterfly population and any other butterfly, I ordered a butterfly cage. Hopefully I will have updates on some success stories soon!