...laying eggs. The third generation is dying out, passing the baton on to the fourth generation to make the arduous journey to Mexico.
I turned over many a milkweed leaf today and did not find a single Monarch egg. I did find about two dozen larvae, at various stages (sizes). Although I am sad to season start to end, I am a bit happy to finally see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. It has been a lot of work and extremely time consuming attempting to reach my goal of 500. I will be glad to get my life (and my dining room!) back! I crossed the 450 mark today. I should reach 500 by the weekend. Whew! But I still have some eggs that I found Saturday, so I still have about a month more of cleaning up frass and keeping the milkweed supply going.
As I was cleaning containers, I came across this one going through its instar. For those that don't know, a Monarch larva will shed its skin (and eat it...gross) 5 times while in larval form. You can see the one at the top right has already shed its skin (the black blob at its tail end).. The one on the lower left is going through the process - you can see the old skin about halfway down its body.
I will continue to update my progress as I approach my goal and beyond. Oh! And I got asked to tag and release Monarchs with 4th grades at Warren Elementary...I am so excited!