From Caterpillar to Chrysalis

From the time the Monarch caterpillar lays its egg on a milkweed leaf

Monarch egg
Monarch egg
and grows to become a butterfly is approximately one month.
After the egg hatches, the caterpillar (or cat for short) becomes an eating machine.  Starting out as barely visible, the cat grows
monarch  caterpillar
and grows
monarch caterpillar
and grows
monarch caterpillar
and grows
monarch
They are eating me out of house and milkweed!
monarch
This one is about to graduate from caterpillar school
When the cat has completed its cycle as a caterpillar, it will find a suitable spot to rest before making its chrysalis.
monarch
This is the classic ‘J’ formation that signals the cat is done with its caterpillar days and is preparing itself for transformation.  The caterpillar may stay in this position for a couple of hours to a couple of days.
When the time is right, the cat then begins to shed its skin revealing its cocoon or chrysalis.  This process is amazing to see and there are several you tube videos out there if you want to look it up.
The end product is a beautiful green chrysalis,
monarch chrysalis
a secure home for the monarch to transform
monarch chysalis
decorated with a mysterious gold band distinctive only to the monarch chrysalis.
monarch chysalis
nature is so amazing.