This year we have had a most unusually temperate Winter and, believe it or not, the Monarch Butterflies are still laying eggs, the eggs are hatching, the caterpillars are growing and the butterflies are emerging - and so on.
Today we drove to Whangarei and there, in the garden at Reyburn House at the Town Basin, we saw several healthy Swan Plants with many Monarch caterpillars of varying sizes. There was not an aphid or wasp to be seen and the caterpillars were healthy.
I turned over a swan plant leaf to check for Monarch eggs and, yes, there were plenty.
Even better, I saw a tiny Monarch caterpillar that had only just emerged and was eating the shell of its egg.