PHOTOS: North Alabama woman finds her backyard transformed into Monarch butterfly haven

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Photo: Susan Downey, Fort Payne

Photo: Susan Downey, Fort Payne

Over the years, you may have found a butterfly in development in your backyard, or maybe during a hike down a nature trail.  You can definitely see many of them in the Purdy Butterfly House at the Huntsville Botanical Garden.

Or, you can ask Susan Downey about her experience.  She’s living it — recently finding nearly 30 Monarch butterfly chrysalis outside her home in Fort Payne!

Downey says she noticed them about two weeks ago.  She had planted milkweed during the summer to try to attract hummingbirds and butterflies, and said she definitely got both!  In mid-September, Downey noticed a caterpillar on the plant.  Then, she looked around and noticed more and more.  She’s counted 29 so far, and suspects there may be more.

Over the last two weeks, the chrysalis have shown up all over her yard – some on plants, others on the light fixtures, brick steps, wood fence and even the grill.  There are even several hidden in a large plant of basil, she said!

The caterpillars are going through the cycle now to become butterflies.  Most are in the pupa (chrysalis) stage and will become the adult butterfly next.

Downey said she saw the first Monarch emerge on Thursday.

Susan, thank you so much for these beautiful pictures — we appreciate you sharing this experience with us!