Friday, July 31, 2015

Monarch Butterflies!

I've been reading about Monarch butterflies recently.Image result for monarch
Their numbers are diminishing - for a number of reasons - but their food source, MILKWEED, is not common anymore.  Supposedly a big culprit is all the chemicals and sprays (a/k/a Roundup) on the fields.

I read information about collecting Monarch eggs from the underside of milkweed leaves.
 Or finding the actual caterpillars themselves.  Both can be brought inside.  In fact, my reading says they should be brought inside because they have a higher rate of survival if raised by humans. (a/k/a me).

We have about 20 milkweed plants in my yard.
July 27:  went out and found 3 Monarch eggs.  At least I hope that's what they are.  My luck, they are probably spider eggs and I've brought a big nest of baby spiders into the house.

Here's a picture of the eggs - the little white dot is laid by the monarch butterfly to the underside of milkweed leaves.  The eggs only take about 4 days to hatch.  One egg per caterpillar.


Here's a tiny caterpillar I found on the underside of a milkweed leaf.  Yup, brought him inside.  Ended up finding 3 eggs, 4 teeny-tiny caterpillars, and 1 medium caterpillar.  They are all in an aquarium in my living room.  Yes, I am re-living 2nd grade, LOL.  

It only takes two weeks for the teeny-tiny caterpillars to grow into full size adults, and then they form the cocoon to morph into the butterfly!!  

If you want to try it, just be sure you have fresh milkweed leaves for the caterpillars to eat.  It's best to actually cut some milkweed leaves on the stem and put the stem in a vase or pop can with water.  The stem/leaves will stay fresh for awhile.  Replace as necessary.

If you are looking for the monarch butterfly caterpillars, look for leaves with small holes chewed in them.  Most likely, a caterpillar will be nearby.
I'll be sure to report back on the status of the eggs, caterpillars and hopefully butterflies!

UPDATE:
1 egg hatched 7/30/15

 A link to a really cool looking blog and posting about monarchs is here:
http://juliezickefoose.blogspot.com/2010/09/monarch-metamorphosis.html

http://juliezickefoose.blogspot.com/2007/11/everybody-loves-milkweed.html
For excellent step by step directions, go here:
http://texasbutterflyranch.com/2013/04/05/how-to-raise-monarch-butterflies-at-home/
Image result for monarch

7 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Great post and photos on raising the monarchs. At least I hope that is what all the eggs were. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

Margaret Adamson said...

How brilliant that you are doing this for these butterflies. They are so beautiful. Have a wonderful weekend.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Interesting! About 20+ years ago we decided to make at least 1/2 our back yard into a haven for "critters" Of course we did all the things you would think we would...added a 20 x 30 pond, planted flowers and bushes to attract the birds, bees and other bugs (NOT spiders). We have a large area that I am adamant about keeping where I have planted bird seed and even lots of milk weed. Then we fenced the whole thing in to keep the dogs out. I know people can see those weeds and bushes growing taller than our privacy fence and wonder what the heck is wrong with us. I love it. We sit by the pond and see birds flying in and out of the weeds/flowers. We put trimmed branches there and I'm sure that's where the chipmunks go. Probably field mice too but heck, they have to live somewhere!! We have a lot of Monarches in the yard. they are gorgeous.
xx, Carol

Connie Smiley said...

That's such a miracle, so amazing to witness. Enjoy every minute!

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Believe it or not, when I went to bed last night I realized that my comment here was all about me and I never once mentioned your amazing post about what YOU had done. I never would have thought to bring the eggs in to hatch. I really do think that you are a pretty amazing person to do it!!
xx, Carol

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Looks like you are doing well, best of luck with your butterflies!
~

Su-sieee! Mac said...

Very cool! I've been trying to grow milkweed. So far, no luck.
Take 25 to Hollister

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