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Monday, September 24, 2012

Tagging Monarchs

At the beginning of the year, Mrs. Fenker, an upper school teacher, mentioned that she was part of a Monarch tagging program, and asked if we would be interested in getting a caterpillar to raise. A couple of weeks ago we got our jar, and watched as our caterpillar munched away at astounding volumes of milkweed leaves... Before we knew it, the caterpillar was in its "J" position at the top of the jar, and the next morning was encased in a stunning bright green chrysalis with tiny gold beads. We waited patiently, and got excited this morning when the chrysalis was completely transparent, and the butterfly's wings were visible. Within an hour of arriving at school, the Monarch emerged! Mrs. Fenker came by before lunch, and talked to the class. We helped her tag the Monarch, and this afternoon released her (it's a girl!!) for her long flight to Mexico.

Just beginning to see the wing pattern through the chrysalis!

Minutes after coming out

Mrs. Fenker shows us how to tell whether it is a boy or a girl!

Holding the butterfly carefully to tag it.

The sticker in place!

The wings continue to dry

Finally, she spreads her wings, telling us she is ready to be released!

We opened the jar, but she was a bit shy...

Took her out on the stick...

Mrs. Grayson had to coax her a bit...

First flight! On her way to Mexico!

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