I was so excited tonight! I went out on the patio to see if there were any eggs or caterpillars on any of the host plants, and I saw one monarch caterpillar! I was so happy I danced around the house for about 30 minutes singing "I got a monarch butterfly!". My husband thinks I'm crazy, although I guess he's used to it by now.
The caterpillar is pretty small. Maybe about 1 inch long. From what I’ve researched, I’m gathering he’s on his 4th instar (fancy new word I learned that means the interval between molts). Fingers crossed he makes it to the next level. I’m hoping no predators find him and pick him off the milkweed.
I realize a lot of people actually go as far as collecting the eggs and caterpillars and then keep them captive in butterfly tents until they pupate and change into butterflies. I don’t want to interfere with nature, so I'll just let it run its course. So far the butterfly garden is off to a good start!