Monarchs arrived early this year on the Knobs, in southeastern West Virginia. I spotted a tattered, faded monarch—likely a Mexican migrant— on April 30. Between those she left and those I found checking out milkweed on other spots on the Knobs, I found over 75 eggs. The weather shifted between unusually hot days, 90° or more to cold wet days.
The caterpillars grew a little slower than summer
monarchs generally do. Most of the chrysalides eclosed June 9th, 10th and 11th, giving me a wonderful gift for my 60th birthday. I kept them in a screen tent in the yard for a few days so that they would mate and be ready to lay eggs as they continued their northward migration. I wanted a few eggs to be left on the Knobs.
Once most of the butterflies had mated, I released them to continue their migration north. They left me around 100 eggs in the tent which I am currently raising.