I bought a milkweed plant at the nursery - it's known as the Monarch butterfly plant. While I was walking around the nursery with my cart full of plants, Monarch butterflies were following me everywhere I steered the cart.
When I got the plant home, I put it in the corner of our patio, and when I looked closely at the plant, this is what I saw:
How did I not see those on the plant when I bought it? Could it be that they weren't there, but in one day's time, they found the milkweed plant? I realized they must be Monarch caterpillars, which I have never seen before.
The very next day, my plant had no leaves!
The caterpillars had eaten them all.
And the next day after that, I saw a tiny green cocoon!
When I looked closely at the cocoon, there were 3 tiny, tiny caterpillars on the cocoon.
I'm not sure what to do at this point. Do I go back to the nursery and buy another milkweed plant, so that when the butterfly emerges from the cocoon, he'll have some milkweed leaves to eat? It's a mystery!
And what happened to all the other big caterpillars? Why is there only one cocoon? What happened to all the tiny, tiny caterpillars?
I guess it's time to Google "Life Cycle of the Monarch Butterfly."