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Old 07-04-2019, 10:23 AM   #1
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Monarch Butterflies.


In the back we have a large patch of milkweed that the head groundskeeper
planted a long time ago to attract Monarch Buttflies. They come every year
and lay their eggs on the leaves of the plant.

Every year he picks some of the leaves ( that have eggs on them) and places them
in our old butterfly house. So far we have two caterpillars...they crawl
and eat all day long. They are fascinating to watch.

I’ve included a pic of the top of the butterfly house...he has a piece of
screening covering the top so that they can’t escape.
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Monarch Butterflies.-c9db2393-c91b-4741-acad-17126b088ba0.jpg   Monarch Butterflies.-e9d582df-4c51-4f93-afb0-907d3ddea5b1.jpg   Monarch Butterflies.-076cb00c-26d8-491e-8726-6f3fd23f2639.jpg  
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Old 07-04-2019, 10:54 AM   #2
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Re: Monarch Butterflies.


Had never thought of building a miniature arboretum, but sounds interesting. Wifey plants milkweed all over the place and we have a swarm of both Monarchs and Swallow tails.

Couldn't lock the cattle gate one evening because of this one playing on the latch hook. I think they are amazing.
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Old 07-04-2019, 02:43 PM   #3
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Re: Monarch Butterflies.


We 'raise' Monarchs as well. We gather eggs or caterpillars, mostly from roadside plants, feed them then release the butterfly once they emerge. We currently have 49 of this generation at various stages.
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Old 07-04-2019, 03:06 PM   #4
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Re: Monarch Butterflies.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lenaitch View Post
We 'raise' Monarchs as well. We gather eggs or caterpillars, mostly from roadside plants, feed them then release the butterfly once they emerge. We currently have 49 of this generation at various stages.
Cool! We don’t feed them - all day they eat the leaves from the milkweed.
Everyday we put fresh milkweed leaves in the butterfly house for them.

The others (in the yard) on the milkweed plants are ‘free roaming’

The others in the house - when they are ready to be released we take them out
and they perch on our fingers for a few minutes before they take flight.

We used to have what seemed like hundreds...for the last few years we see
less and less. None the less - they are spectacular when they take flight...
I always sing, “Zippedy Do Dah!”
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Old 07-04-2019, 03:07 PM   #5
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Re: Monarch Butterflies.


Quote:
Originally Posted by chandler48 View Post
Had never thought of building a miniature arboretum, but sounds interesting. Wifey plants milkweed all over the place and we have a swarm of both Monarchs and Swallow tails.

Couldn't lock the cattle gate one evening because of this one playing on the latch hook. I think they are amazing.
That little fella is adorable, it reminds me of “inch worm”
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Old 07-04-2019, 04:10 PM   #6
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Re: Monarch Butterflies.


I transplanted 6 milkweeds out of my veg garden but destroyed the rest. -(
Left several growing in the front flower garden so it doesn't look too wonderful
but, well, frack it.
Wish I could say I'd seen some caterpillars/monarchs........nothing.......
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Old 07-04-2019, 06:07 PM   #7
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Re: Monarch Butterflies.


You are all awesome. I will have to pay more attention to roadside. I've seen shows showing where they migrate to and difficult to believe those floppy winged critters can fly that far.

Bud
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Old 07-04-2019, 06:23 PM   #8
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Re: Monarch Butterflies.


Their average lifespan as adults is only 2 to 4 weeks, so any help they can get will ensure their longevity. They help the bees pollinate things, so they are very important. In our valley we have seen the emergence of an abundance of lightening bugs (fireflies to yankees), so we are pleased. The less pesticides used the better the ecosystem is.
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Old 07-04-2019, 06:25 PM   #9
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Re: Monarch Butterflies.


The head knot was in Texas once when he saw the Migration...he said it
was amazing, there was a gazillion of them.

Here’s a male Monarch...they all look like stained glass.
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Old 07-04-2019, 07:33 PM   #10
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Re: Monarch Butterflies.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Two Knots View Post
Cool! We don’t feed them - all day they eat the leaves from the milkweed.
Everyday we put fresh milkweed leaves in the butterfly house for them.

The others (in the yard) on the milkweed plants are ‘free roaming’

The others in the house - when they are ready to be released we take them out
and they perch on our fingers for a few minutes before they take flight.

We used to have what seemed like hundreds...for the last few years we see
less and less. None the less - they are spectacular when they take flight...
I always sing, “Zippedy Do Dah!”



We keep ours in small plastic tubs sold as terrariums or, when they are small, cheap plastic cups with netting over them. The missus changes their leaves once a day. We have had some luck with putting a stalk in those cut flower water vials - as the weather heats up we find the leaves dry out very quickly. We do have a screened in room where we can put them if the butterflies emerge on a crappy day - they need a few hours for their wings to fully expand and dry before they can fly.
We tried to grow milkweed; you know you're a bad gardener when you can't even grow a weed.
To me, the amazing generation is the last one. While it takes 4-5 generations to migrate north from (mainly) Mexico, the last generation makes it all the way down, overwinters then does the first leg back.


We are a registered 'collector' and report our numbers to the provincial government. Aggregate numbers fluctuate annually, sometimes widely. Wide-spectrum herbicides and less 'rough ground' and fewer fence lines enroute are part of it but habitat loss in their main wintering ground in Mexico seems to be the biggest problem. There was a parasite running around a couple of years ago when we lost about half our collection; our daughter, about 3 hours farther north, did not have a single successful emergence that year.
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Old 07-04-2019, 11:02 PM   #11
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Re: Monarch Butterflies.


Oh heavens, gotta love the butterflies and moths.

Back in Ohio, my brother and me raised lots of caterpillars, be careful to keep 'em screened (parasitic wasps and flies).

Monarchs, Polyphemus moths, Cecropia moths, yeah.
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Old 07-05-2019, 08:49 AM   #12
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Re: Monarch Butterflies.


Lenaitch...


We are a registered 'collector' and report our numbers to the provincial government. Aggregate numbers fluctuate annually, sometimes widely. Wide-spectrum herbicides and less 'rough ground' and fewer fence lines enroute are part of it but habitat loss in their main wintering ground in Mexico seems to be the biggest problem. There was a parasite running around a couple of years ago when we lost about half our collection; our daughter, about 3 hours farther north, did not have a single successful emergence that year.”

Yes, we don’t nearly have the mass of Monarch’s that we’ve had in years past.
It truly looked like the ‘Song of the South” when they hatched.

I complain to the head groundskeeper that we have too much milkweed and he
should pull some out. He totally ignores me...He did say yesterday that
after the butterflies emerge he’ll thin them out.

In our butterfly house we have a bottle of water that we stick the milkweed in
every day, they stay fresher that way.

He said he thinks he saw two more caterpillars in there this morning.

here is another pic of the butterfly house with the bottle of water.

Where do you get the milkweed if you don’t grow it?
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Old 07-05-2019, 01:04 PM   #13
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Re: Monarch Butterflies.


A teachable moment for our youngest little guy...
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Old 07-05-2019, 01:21 PM   #14
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Re: Monarch Butterflies.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Two Knots View Post
Lenaitch...

Where do you get the milkweed if you don’t grow it?

We live in a subdivision in a rural area (1+ to 2+ acre lots) and have patches growing wild in ditches that people don't mow. Patches seem to move around from one year to the next but we usually have enough within an easy walk. That's where we collect our egg/cats as well.
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Old 07-05-2019, 02:54 PM   #15
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Re: Monarch Butterflies.


The fourth generation of monarch butterflies (those born in Sept or Oct) does not die after two to six weeks. Instead, this generation of monarch butterflies migrates to warmer climates like Mexico and California and will live for six to eight months until it is time to start the whole process over again.

We not only have a resident population, but are on the receiving end of some of the migrants. There are spots scattered along the coast that are noted for their transient populations that are here from Oct. thru about early March.

This pic is from the Pacific Grove Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary (near Monterey).
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