After a two year absence, a Monarch Butterfly set down to feed in our backyard! We watched as it entertained us throughout the afternoon.
“In the spring, summer and early fall, they can be found wherever there are milkweeds. Monarchs lay their eggs on milkweeds and they’re always searching for them in fields, meadows and parks. Many people plant milkweeds in their gardens. Females will look for available milkweed plants to lay eggs.
The eggs hatch after approximately four days. The caterpillars are small and they grow many times their initial size over a two-week period. The caterpillars feed [exclusively] on the available milkweed plant. When they get big enough, each caterpillar forms a chrysalis and goes through metamorphosis.
The chrysalis protects the monarch as it is going through the major developmental change of turning from a caterpillar to a butterfly. The chrysalis is green with yellow spots. After another 2-week period, an adult butterfly will emerge from the chrysalis.”*
Please create a welcoming environment for the Monarch wherever you can. We need to do as much as we can to protect and save this beautiful species.
Don Shaw, Jr.
Writer and Editor
* Source: National Wildlife Federation
Photograph by Don Shaw, Jr.