Monarch caterpillar

Up close to  a Monarch caterpillar munching on a milkweed leaf:

I went butterflying a few days back at a place well known for a rare butterfly. I didn’t see any of them, or many adult butterflies at all – it was a cool, windy, overcast day.  The find of the day was caterpillars – dozens of late instar Monarch caterpillars. They were at the edge of the mowed field where there were many small green second-growth milkweed plants. Seemed like every third or fourth milkweed plant had a Monarch caterpillar on it. I stopped counting when I got into the twenties – I should have checked the other side of the field for more, but I lingered over the caterpillars in this one area instead.

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