Mattapoisett Gardener Captures Stunning Transition of Monarch Butterfly
One Mattapoisett gardener discovered nature at work in her home garden and documented it all. When Kimberly Ray spotted a butterfly chrysalis hanging from her hydrangea, she knew she found something awe-inspiring.
Ray has loved gardening since she was a little girl growing up in Fairhaven. She learned from her mother, and before she knew it, she was getting her own seeds and sowing her own garden. Now, she lives in Mattapoisett with her husband, tending to her vegetable garden and flower beds. When she came across the chrysalis on September 1, she quickly snapped a photo to share with her Facebook friends.
“Two days prior, someone posted a picture of their own chrysalis, asking what it was. It was the only reason I knew what I was looking at,” Ray said. She started doing some research and realized just how rare her finding was.
“Monarch butterflies are actually in danger,” said Ray, sharing the facts she uncovered about these pollinators. MassWildlife reported, “The most important drivers of these population declines are habitat loss, climate change, and pesticide use.”
Habitats for monarchs are not only important as overwintering sites, but also important for food resources. Ray’s garden has a healthy supply of milkweed, the perfect recipe for a caterpillar to become a butterfly.
Thanks to her research, Ray was able to identify the butterfly as a male and lovingly named him Maximillian, seeing as her garden find was one in a million.
She missed the opportunity to see the butterfly emerge from its cocoon but managed to capture some incredible images along the way that will leave you with a pleasant reminder of how beautiful nature can be.