We took a walk along the race just before dusk the other evening. I checked the milkweed for any signs of monarch caterpillars and found this young chap, less that a half inch long. I've seen a couple monarch butterflies in recent days, which is more than I saw all last fall, and it's always fun to find a caterpillar.
A little further along we startled a heron, who slowly flapped his way down the canal ahead of us, finally coming to rest up on some dead branches -- unusual, since we generally see them in the water, near the bank.
He was still there shortly after when we came back past the snag, awkwardly climbing the vertical branch to get up to a higher level. He hopped and occasionally flapped for balance, and did his best to camouflage himself as a dead tree branch. (Can you see him in the 4th photo?)
The next morning I found another, larger monarch caterpillar on a milkweed growing in the middle of my raspberries, and three eggs on another leaf nearby. The last photo has one of the eggs and the two caterpillars together on our porch table, to show the size variation. The egg is off to the left and looks like a tiny yellow football balanced on end. We brought them all in to our screened-in porch so there will undoubtedly be more photos of monarchs in various stages.
My approach to contemplative photography --
Tell about it."
Mary Oliver in "Sometimes"