The weather has been raw and cold, so I decided to keep the Monarch for over twenty-four hours. Because of this decision, I placed fresh flowers in the terrarium as a nectar source for the newly hatched butterfly.
Today, I waited for the temperatures to rise above 50 degrees, for the chance of rain to pass, and for the sun to emerge. Then, I brought the terrarium out to an area with many phlox in bloom, and I carefully removed the entire aster sprig with the butterfly on it and placed it on a cluster of phlox blossoms. I chose a spot under a canopy of other flowers for added protection from predators. She fluttered her wings a bit and settled in. I bid her farewell, thanked her for coming into my world, and prayed that my intervention was worthwhile, ensuring her survival. She is on her own, free to make the journey to warm, sunny Mexico. I wish her well. (I am waiting for the others to emerge.)