A few days ago, we managed to catch the monarch butterfly emerging from the chrysalis. I noticed that it had turned all black, which is actually the wing markings showing through the chrysalis. Then the bottom began to split and the butterfly's body dropped out. My husband said "it's too small!" as it only appeared half-size. But its wings were folded up and we were only seeing the smaller set of upper wings. The lower wings had to unfold which they did within about 10 minutes. Then it just hung there. I didn't know how it was going to survive. It was a very windy day.
In above photo, it has just emerged and its wings are scrumpled up, looking quite small.
Now it has moved to the side of its chrysalis and is beginning to unfold those magnificent wings.
It began to walk along the bottom of the deck railing and then climbed up to the top. Very windy up there and there were a few slips. Then it dropped down onto the deck but moved immediately so I knew it wasn't fatally injured. I let it walk onto a piece of paper and moved the paper back up onto the railing. It eventually went over the other side, and dropped again but caught itself on the lattice work. Then it dropped onto the ground where it seemed to be listing to one side. But a few minutes later, I saw that it had climbed up onto the lattice a few inches above the ground. It remained there for about 2 hours with its wings held together. I figure this was drying time. When we looked again, it had gone.
There are actually a lot of successes this season, but I just took some photos of some of the best as I was watering this morning.
Another malva in solid purple. And below is a tomato plant that has sprung up in the compost pile. I think there are three tomato plants here, grown from some cast-off cherry tomatoes last fall.
This is a climbing rose, called "Above All" with lovely salmon orange flowers. It is rated hardy to zone 4 so it will need some protection this winter as we are in zone 3B here.
And dahlia success for sure. Two dahlias (don't know the names, as I discarded the cartons) planted together out of laziness. They sure give a lot of bang for the buck with their plate-sized blooms.
And the prettiest hydrangea of the year award goes to Strawberry Sundae, as the blooms turn to pink. This always has bees drifting in and out of the flowers.
And a personal colour favourite - the purply-pink echinacea with the yellow black-eye susans mingling together.