Through neglect (but with good intentions), I fear I may have allowed my Monarch caterpillars to become someone's meal.
Acting on good advice, I drove today to a neighboring town where the orange butterfly weed had originally been purchased. There, the flower-grower took me to a fresh patch, and together we pulled out my dead flowers to find the caterpillars.
There were none.
There were no cocoons either.
Alas, I think spiders may have benefited from my lovely gift.
Next time, if there is a next time, I am acting immediately on the advice of another friend. In fact, I will drive to her for careful instruction and perhaps leave my little friends to her care.
Meanwhile, this photo of a caterpillar the gardener and I found will have to suffice as a reminder of my own little beauties.
My Daily Snap