This has been our holiday house, until now. Now it's our permanent home.
I have been growing swan plants here, for the Monarchs, for several years. Unfortunately the huge wasp population in the area has ensured that no caterpillars are given a chance to grow past the first instar, before they become prey to the wasps. Because we've previously only been here for a couple of days at a time, (say every 6-8 weeks), there's not been an opportunity to really care for the Monarchs here.
Now that we're here full time, I have a better chance to bring them all to butterfly stage.
I've noted that, with our weather coming into Autumn, there are not so many wasps around at the moment. Having said that, I spotted a slightly larger caterpillar on a swan plant 2 days ago and knew I needed to get it under cover and safety from the wasps.
Because we're still unpacking after the house move, it took a day to find the caterpillar castle. Wouldn't you know it? When I went out to the plant to get the caterpillar yesterday morning (and I had seen it there only 2 hours before) it had gone. Wasps!!!
I searched the plants and found 3 eggs and they're now safely inside the caterpillar castle, waiting to hatch.
We'll just have to wait and see what happens.
I'll keep you posted.