Hunting for Monarch Chrysalis

Collage for blog
Some of the iPhone 6s photos I took yesterday on my walk, I used the olloclip macro lens for all of these as well.

 

Yesterday my partner dropped me halfway up the big hill in town, and I walked home via the water tower, which is a couple of kilometres away.  The reason was, I have been observing the milkweed on the outskirts of farmland there, for the last couple of years, hoping to spot a Monarch Butterfly chrysalis.  I haven’t seen one in years, but I’m determined to find one.

Clover
Beautiful Clover so large you could see the detail of each little bloom with the naked eye. Photo taken with iPhone 6s + Olloclip macro lens.

I know the Monarch Butterflies lay their eggs on the Milkweed plant (which is considered a pest), and right now it has pretty white flowers in full bloom, with nectar dripping from the flowers.  The Milkweed plants contain a sticky white sap inside the stems if you happen to break one.  The larvae or caterpillars fee on this, and this makes them toxic to eat, which works as a defence against predators.  I’ve seen empty chrysalis hanging off the barbed wire fence and even on the pretty noxious weed called Lantana bush, which has clusters of pink and yellow flowers.   Unfortunately, I still haven’t seen any healthy live chrysalis yet, but I can’t wait until I do!

Milkweed flower nectar
Nectar forming on white flower of the Milkweed Plant reflecting pretty pink and yellow Lantana Flowers in background. Photo taken with iPhone 6s and Olloclip Macro Lens.

 

What I did see, were two gorgeous tiny striped yellow, black and white monarch caterpillars about 2cm, and a couple of days ago, I saw a really large one about 6-7cm with a wide girth and a smaller one.  Also, I saw at least one Monarch butterfly and Cabbage Butterfly flitting around, so hopefully it’s just a matter of time until I get to see and photograph my first live green Monarch Butterfly chrysalis.  I’ll let you know when I do!

Monarch caterpillar 2cm
Monarch Caterpillar with the distinctive black/white/yellow stripes. This one was a tiny 2cm long.  Photo taken with iPhone 6s and Olloclip macro lens.

It was really interesting to study the milkweed to see what else was living on it’s leaves, a large amount of baby snails that are cuter than cute, seemed to have the plants covered, and making a real meal of them, as well, there were plenty of orange ladybirds.

Baby Snail
A tiny snail, looking right at me. He was sitting with all his many brothers and sisters upon the leaves of the Milkweed plant, along with the Monarch Caterpillars and Ladybirds. Perhaps it was a tea party they were having. Photo taken with iPhone 6s and Olloclip macro lens.

After leaving the milkweed behind, and continuing my walk home, I saw some beautiful purple wildflowers, purple lavender with bees gathering away (too fast for me to capture on film), gorgeous purple and green grass and clover that was so big, you could see the detail of each little bud with the naked eye.

Ladybird
Cute! A little orange and black spotted ladybird sits quietly, thinking she’s quite camouflaged, but I have news for you, you were standing right out!  I love being able to see their sweet faces with the Olloclip macro lens.  Photo taken with iPhone 6s and Olloclip macro lens.

To make my day, I saw an Eastern Rosella fly onto a post on the opposite side of the road, and I stopped to just enjoy, while I looked on, two more Rosellas arrived and flew into the long grass appearing to be eating something on the ground, then all three flew straight toward me, and I took a deep breath, as they swooped upward and over my head onto the power lines above me.  They were looking down at me curiously, and preening themselves, their red heads looks magnificent contrasting against the deep blue of the late afternoon sky.  I wished my battery hadn’t died at that point.  Still, it was interesting to listen to their bird call, and a kind of clicking sound they make and watch these beauties for a while until they flew off.  This is the first time I’ve seen Eastern Rosellas here, I usually see Rainbow Lorikeets.  I also saw a couple of Indian Myna Birds and a Crested Pigeon which makes a fascinating beating noise as it takes off.  I found out through Wikipedia that sounds comes from beating their wings!   I’m starting to listen carefully to the bird calls, to enable me to identify them by their sound, even when I can’t see them.

Wild Grass
This beautiful plant appears to be a type of wild grass growing along the side of the road, enchanting. Photo taken with iPhone 6s and Olloclip macro lens.

All in all, a wonderful day observing all kinds of wildlife, especially those with wings.

Wild flower
A tiny wildflower, which was actually purple in colour (not white) (I’ve changed it in an editing program Filterstorm Neue using masking techniques).  Photo taken with iPhone 6s and Olloclip macro lens. 
Rusty Tin Can
Rusty tin can seen on my travels yesterday, amazing what can’t be seen with the naked eye, and how different things look through a macro lens.  Photo taken with iPhone 6s and Olloclip macro lens.
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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Lovely to read about your adventurous day, observing the beauty around you.

    Like

    1. Thank you so much Heather, I love to read about your photographic adventures too! It’s always so very interesting to me. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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