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She really never moved. After about 3 hours of only moving a few inches one way or another and slowly fanning her wings, she decided to suddenly start flitting around and was ready to go. I put my hand in and she lighted on it so I could draw her out. I got to hold her just a few seconds and then she went straight up and landed in the maple tree.

Another crappy cell phone pic:

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She stayed there another hour or so, and I never saw her leave.

We're supposed to get tons of rain Wednesday from Beryl, and I am so glad she's already, well ahead of this storm.
 
Monarch caterpillar update!

Last seen, I was still showing the cat, right after I dropped the butterfly cage over the swamp milkweed outside - the cat crawled up and attached to the top in "J" position:

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The very next day, we had this:

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This morning when my husband checked around 8:30, we still had a very darkened chrysalis. I just looked twenty minutes ago, and -

It's a girl! :586:

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Apparently you can easily tell by the back of the wings like this. Without seeing the two black spots on both lower wings that indicate a male, you have a female.

Another view:

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I'm going to be checking on her about every 20-30 minutes. She can't have been out too long, and conventional wisdom says let them dry out and try their wings for a couple of hours.

Once she's moved away and is active, I'll turn her out.

So how many days from j position to butterfly?
 
Mid July garden updates!

One of my hydrangeas is a gorgeous, vibrant blue/purple/pink combo.

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First time growing callas. They’re lovely!
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The bunnies devoured any of these liatris that were not inside the chicken wire. We have about 8 baby bunnies living under the hydrangeas and running all around the front yard. I’ve sacrificed the pansies and the liatris to them for this year. It’s keeping them away from the cone flowers and zinnias. Harlie mostly keeps them out of the backyard.
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False snapdragon reseeded from last year. Free flowers! First thing to bloom after the tulips in April and still going strong mid July.
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Zinnias - these were store bought when the early June garden was lacking color.
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Late blooming clematis - Cardinal Wysinski I think?
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Dill. No black swallowtail caterpillars so far…
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Zinnias from seed that I saved from last years plants. Free flowers!!
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Sulphur cosmos. I don’t usually plant anything yellow. Just a personal preference. These were in a packet of wildflower seeds I used last year in the pollinator garden.
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Cosmos reseeded from last year! Free flowers!
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Lobelia - I can't resist anything purple.
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It’s cone flower season!! They’re in full force right now and attracting a ton of pollinators.
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First time planting gladiolus. Wasn’t expecting them to be so tall. Will need staking soon.

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