Thursday, May 29, 2014

First Monarch

A few days ago on Facebook, the Minnesota Nongame Wildlife Program posted that they had seen their first Monarch butterfly in Southeastern MN.  They asked if anyone had seen Monarchs in their area.  Monday afternoon, I saw one!  I ran inside to get the camera and got a few snapshots.  Here’s the only clear shot of the bunch.

A neighbor saw me with my camera and asked what I was up to, so I told her about the FB post.  Her sweetie ran inside and got their camera.  We stood in the street for a bit watching the Monarch flit about, landing from time to time on a plant in my Native boulevard garden.

Tonight, my neighbor and I were out weeding and she noticed several milkweed plants in my boulevard garden—none of which I planted!  We checked the milkweed for eggs and discovered that the boulevard is a veritable Monarch nursery!  I don’t remember a thing from fourth grade when we watched Monarchs in the classroom, so I had to go to Wikipedia, which said the eggs should hatch in about 4 days!  The caterpillar will last about two weeks.  And then two more weeks in the chrysalis.  So, in a little over a month, if everything goes well, I should see Monarchs galore!  

I’ll have to do a periodic check on the plants to see if any/all the eggs become caterpillars and whether the caterpillars survive the predators.

What an exciting accidental adventure!
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