We had all kinds of firsts happen this weekend; firsts for the season, and even a first-ever!!
To start off the weekend, we had our first Monarchs eclose; three of them! All males, unfortunately, but I was able to catch one for a quick time lapse and another for a FB livestream to educate friends. I was really hoping for some ladies, since all the wildlings in our field are males and we haven't found a single egg since this first batch, but I'm okay with three healthy new males.
On Sunday, the husband and I were on a scouting mission just to see if we could see a female ANYWHERE (no such luck), when I remarked about the oddity of not seeing any Viceroys yet this year, either...and suddenly, there they are! Three or four down at Snakey Point, including this friendly fellow:
And another total first for me...when we returned home and went to check out our own butterfly field, we happened across four large Black Swallowtail caterpillars!!! In the last couple of years, I've only seen one or two adults and NEVER a cat, but here were front of the little buggars on one small patch of Queene Anne's Lace! So they've been moved to one of our rearing containers, and we'll see what happens!
I'd like to add a quick note here, before I sign off for the day. When checking new posts in one of the FB butterfly groups this evening, an individual had posted about "finding" a certified Monarch Waystation when vacationing in Ohio, and about taking seed pods from said station. Please, PLEASE do not do this! If you need seeds, there are any number of people online who will send you seeds. There are plenty of other places to get pods, if you so desire. Trespassing on private land is illegal and unethical. This was a certified Waystation, which means someone has spent time on this area and cares for it. To make matters even worse, the poster picked an unripened pod that wouldn't have had viable seeds anyway, making the effort a waste in every way. This angers me more than it probably should, but I wanted to share. Thank you for reading!