illustration: monarch butterfly
August 9, 2013
This is my little illustration of a Monarch Butterfly. I, thankfully, had the opportunity to see the orange beauty in person, during a road trip on the coast of California, at the right time of year.
Monarch Butterflies are known for their massive migration between Canada and South America. They can be viewed gathering in clusters in the pine or eucalyptus trees at points such as Pismo Beach or Pacific Grove, CA, both in October.
During the Spring and Summer, the butterfly’s eggs are laid upon the leaves of milkweed plants. After four days, caterpillars hatch and feed on the milkweed for two weeks. Next, the caterpillar spins a web on a leaf for its Chrysalis to hang from. A metamorphosis into a fragile, yet majestic winged insect occurs at this phase after about two more weeks.
The migration exceeds the lifespan of the Monarch butterflies which is only two months, but the next generation continues the trek south (or north depending on the time of year), hence making for an amazing journey for such a small creature.