Thursday, November 27, 2014

Some Monarchs Didn't Go To Mexico This Year (Events From November 2014)

About two weeks ago, we had a cold snap.  Temperatures dropped down into the upper 30s.  My 6 year old daughter Laura has an eagle eye for spotting Monarch butterflies and caterpillars.  A few days before that, I had noticed a female Monarch hanging around our Milkweed plants.  Apparently, she laid a number of eggs, because Laura spotted caterpillars on that cold afternoon.  Well, we just had to bring them inside and save them.

The good news is that it looks like we will be able to successfully release 10 into the wild.  Of course, their fellow Monarchs have already migrated to Mexico by now, so they will be forced to hang out here.  But at least they will be able to enjoy themselves until the first frost.  Who knows, perhaps that will be weeks from now.

We took these caterpillars and chrysalis' up to Lala's school so they could enjoy them last week.  Unfortunately, they are all emerging during the holiday week off, so the kids won't get to see it this time.  However, we are taking pictures and videos to show them next week.  And, we have plans to work with Laura' teacher and class next spring to raise some in their classroom.  We plan to post more about that then.

One last note: this past season, scientists say the overwintering Mexico population was down 50% from the previous year.  That's substantial.  One thing that definitely helps is getting Milkweed and growing it in your yard.  It never fails to draw Monarchs too.  They can smell it for miles away.  Please check with your local nursery.  They may well have Milkweed plants in stock.  If not, ask them to please get some in.  Thanks for your help.

Happy Monarching,

Caleb, Janae, Joshua & Laura Warren

P.S.  Our total Monarch rearing and release total is now 2,070!