Happy 2016 became a monarch sometime during the day of December 31, 2015.
We are fairly certain this female monarch is the last monarch from 2015 to leave Garland, if not Texas.
She was found in the Garland Community Garden on December 5, 2015. At that time she was a fat caterpillar clinging to a dry withered milkweed leaf. Members of Loving Garland Green rescued the caterpillar and nourished it to the pupa stage. We had originally thought the caterpillar would eclose on Christmas day, but it appears she had plans to be a New Year's baby as she emerged on New Year's Eve. On Wednesday of this week we will drive her a few hundred miles to south central Texas and release her in a nature park.
Frankly I had given up on the pupa and was shocked when I saw her flying about the monarch condo. The first challenge was to find some food for her. I quickly made some sugar water, soaked some cotton balls in it and placed in the condo. She drank and drank and drank. Yesterday I discovered a marigold blooming over at Charlie's. I put it in her condo. She's been working on that for quite a while now. Tonight we picked up some watermelon for her. Butterflies are not limited to flower nectar. They will eat/drink just about anything that is water soluble and sweet.
Butterfly cotton candy: cotton balls soaked in sugar water (one part sugar to four parts water)
Providing that all things go well, Charlie and I will be driving her several hundred miles south on Wednesday. We will release her on Thursday in a nature park in Nueces County. The last of the Monarchs from Garland, Texas.