Mondays with Millie: MEET MILLIE!
Hi, there! This is Millie the Monarch caterpillar.
Millie is a fourth generation Monarch caterpillar. Monarchs have four generations each year and each generation has four life cycles.
In order to explain what that means, let me explain to you a little bit about the amazing life cycle of a Monarch butterfly. A monarch butterfly goes through four major life changes. It starts out as an egg that hatches into the larvae (the caterpillar), that turns into the pupae (the chrysalis-the cocoon-like sack), that transforms into the adult butterfly.
The first generation of Monarch eggs are laid in March and April. The second generation of eggs are laid in May and June. The third generation are laid in July and August. These generations of Monarchs only live for about two to six weeks.
The fourth generation of Monarchs are special and a little different from the previous generations. They are born in August, September, and sometimes as late as October. As you can see in Millie's short bio on the Millie and Friends page, Millie was born on September 19th, which happens to be my dad's birthday. I did this to honor his memory.
Fourth generation Monarchs are quite extraordinary! They live much longer than the previous generations, with a life span of six to eight months. This allows them to go on an amazing migration journey, traveling up to 2,000 miles to California and Mexico! After hibernating in the winter, these butterflies will mate and then make a long journey once again, this time traveling north. They will then lay eggs and give birth to the first generation of Monarchs and the cycle starts all over again!
Millie is a kind, and curious day dreamer. She is restless and bored, and longs to be able to move beyond the ground underneath her feet. What she doesn't know yet, is that being able to live and move in the sky is part of her destiny! In fact, not only will Millie fly one day, but as a fourth generation Monarch, she will get to go on an incredible journey!
Sometimes when we feel restless and bored in life, it's not such a bad thing, but rather a gift. It may be a little clue that something inside of us needs to grow and shift to expand our thinking beyond what we can see with our eyes. We each have been given an amazing imagination, a place where we can dream and create. What can you do today to take time to dream and listen to your imagination?
If you want to learn more about Monarch butterflies and their four generations, here are some great resources: