Hooray! Hooray! After 17 days, the monarchs emerged from both chrysalises!
We just weren't sure anymore if the chrysalises were okay and if monarchs were developing in them.
Generally a monarch will emerge from a chrysalis from 8 to 15 days.
But, as we experienced, it all depends on the weather conditions.
We have been experiencing for the past few weeks mornings with fog that thins out around noon, then rolls back in around 6.30 pm.
This means that although the afternoons can be pleasantly warm, the temperatures hover mostly around the 60's.
The chrysalises were hanging in the pop-up mesh hamper, which we kept on a table in our little entrance room, which gets a lot of filtered daylight.
Three days ago, before I left for work, the chrysalises were almost black, with distinctive monarch orange colors showing through.
I was so excited, knowing that they would emerge sometime that day.
So, just in case they would be hungry, I put a small slice of watermelon at the bottom of the hamper, and clipped a couple of fresh zinnias on their long stems to the inside of the hamper.
I came home to this beautiful sight, two perfectly developed monarch butterflies hanging from the bottom of the hamper lid, drying and flexing their wings.
The next day when the temperature was in the mid- sixties and the fog dissipated to let the sun shine through, around 11 am, we took the hamper to the backyard and let the butterflies leave when they felt ready.