I discovered these two monarch caterpillars on my aphid infested Mexican milkweed a few days ago. Mamma monarch had bad timing with her egg laying because winter is coming a little early this year. Our first frost is usually around November 17, but an arctic cold front is bringing freezing temperatures this week.
That may not be good news for the caterpillars. I did not see them today, so maybe they found a place to form their respective chrysalises. I have seen swallowtail chrysalises survive through the winter and hatch in the spring. I am not sure if monarchs will do the same.
I planted garlic yesterday and picked the last of the green beans, black-eyed peas, and peppers. I guess I am about as ready for winter as I can be, but it sure would be nice to extend the autumn season a little longer. I usually try to protect some plants through the first couple of early frosts and cold spells because the temperatures usually rebound within a couple of days. I don't think I will bother this time because the forecasters are saying that it could be cold for the rest of the month.