Melissa Fischer. wild in Michigan. naturalist

does tearing your skin off hurt?

A monarch caterpillar searching for a transformation site.

This one was a wanderer and had to be enclosed with aluminum foil… and secured its hind legs to that and not the grape vine. It makes for ugly photos (:

The antennae are empty and the skin on the head is starting to split.

It split and shed its skin…. it’s black and clear.

I was video taping the skin splitting. The green part dances around pulsating and contracting until the skin splits to the top and falls. I’d upload the video, but I’m super swamped living life at summer’s snail pace.

It dances itself up into a smaller form and slowly takes on its last shape and starts to dry.

The final form. The first few hours the chrysalis has yellow dots that eventually turn metallic gold… anything that can split its skin Incredible Hulk style and then decorate itself with amazing gold dots is perfect.

The shine of the gold is hard to capture, but someday I will get it.

The monarch eggs I highlighted on the previous post were born as spiders yesterday. When I first saw a spider in the container I thought it may have eaten the newly born caterpillar, but monarchs eat their egg case and the case was still there. And the spider’s body is clear and there was no sign of a little eaten caterpillar.

The second spider born… they hatched a few minutes apart. Sometimes its fun to be wrong.

A newly hatched Monarch caterpillar.

The girls set fire to their left over school papers… a favorite annual summer tradition…. and the only way I can motivate them to sort through a year’s worth of old school work.

A juvenile Blue Jay having a party. Despite BlueJay’s bossy personality, I like this one. It hangs on the rail of the front porch every morning until I fill the feeder.


22 responses

  1. Wow – this is brilliant – absolutely brilliant!

    June 19, 2012 at 9:19 am

  2. melissakoski

    Thanks Julie, always such a love. (: Is it your first day of winter?!

    June 19, 2012 at 9:23 am

  3. Yes I would think tearing your skin off would hurt – even more if you dip yourself in hot water after the flaying (SICK)!

    June 19, 2012 at 9:53 am

    • melissakoski

      I’m with ya Louis!! (:

      June 20, 2012 at 7:05 am

  4. alli

    I love starting the day with your pictures. They are beautiful and tranquil. Esp today while exhausted, dumped a full cup of coffee on myself getting out of the car and realizing as i go to buy more coffee next to hair salon i also left my wallet at home… thank you for the beautiful pics to reset my day! :)

    June 19, 2012 at 10:29 am

    • melissakoski

      Thank you so much Alli! You are probably one of the most productive people I know. (: And I really hope you get the peaceful break you deserve soon! Hope the critters are leaving your garden in peace too.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:07 am

  5. wow.

    June 19, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    • melissakoski

      I think I’ve gotten emotional while I watch the first transformation each summer season because it is all so “wow” as you say!

      June 20, 2012 at 7:09 am

  6. Fascinating photos.

    June 19, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    • melissakoski

      Thanks Dad!

      June 20, 2012 at 7:09 am

  7. I have to say this, Melissa, and not because you are my favorite crush, that those close-ups are simply amazing. Clear, sharp, great lighting. Excellent. :-)

    June 19, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    • melissakoski

      Thanks Bob! I must tell you the grocery store clerk almost gave you a run for your money this week with his kind words. (: lol I really appreciate your photography compliments as always! xo

      June 20, 2012 at 7:10 am

  8. Nice set :)

    June 19, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    • melissakoski

      Thank you (: (my smart ass ways are begging me to respond “I get that all the time….”, but that’s not true so I won’t go there)

      June 20, 2012 at 7:12 am

      • hahahaha… you’re too funny :) I’ll think twice before leaving such comments in the future!! :)

        June 20, 2012 at 10:04 am

  9. I love that “burn the papers” maneuver. We might have to try that!

    June 19, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    • melissakoski

      Jomegat it really does motivate them… and we need all the organizational/cleaning motivation we can get around here. My house would probably be cleaner if I used the burn rather than pick up approach!

      June 20, 2012 at 7:13 am

  10. Love seeing your photos. So crisp and clear. But I have to say, I think your tradition of burning the school stuff at the end of the year is awesome. What a great thing to do as a kid.

    June 22, 2012 at 12:48 am

    • melissakoski

      Thanks MJ- my kids are pretty unmotivated at home so if we need to set things afire to motivate the turds, I’m all for it! (says the pyro Mom)

      June 27, 2012 at 3:59 pm

  11. Amazingly shot…

    June 26, 2012 at 3:31 am

    • melissakoski

      Thanks Azhar!

      June 27, 2012 at 3:59 pm

  12. Meredith Barnes

    I love the monarch caterpillar shots! I spend hours on my porch watching cicadas break out of their shells…

    June 28, 2012 at 2:02 pm


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