Today I released the last of twelve wild monarch butterflies. Each year I plant their host plant, tropical milkweed, in my registered Monarch Waystation where females lay their eggs. A few days later, I find the tiny larva, raise them indoors until large enough to place back in the garden, then monitor their growth, protect them from predators, then return them to the safety of the house, where they form their chrysalises.
About nine days later, they emerge into the magnificent Monarchs we readily recognize. When these beauties are fully dry and active, I release them back into the garden, where they nectar on the milkweed and phlox, gaining strength for their long migration.
Over the past four years, I raised over one-thousand monarchs and dozens of black swallowtails and handfuls of Fritillaries and Red Spotted Purples.
Monarchs are endangered therefore I do my part to insure that those who find my garden prevail while they are here. Fewer than 1% of monarch eggs will survive in the wild without help. When I began this hobby, I had an excellent teacher, who to this day continues to answer questions, that to the novice bystander, would seem bizarre. Check out her website at www.socialbtrflies.com.
- An excellent documentary to learn more is entitled In the Company of Wild Butterflies.
- Learn more and help at www.monarchwatch.org
- West Coast, USA residents may want to visit www.monarchbutterfly.org
This day is one of celebration, as 100% of my caterpillars emerged healthy. This day is also bittersweet, as I must bid my creatures farewell, never to know their ultimate fate. So fly strong and high mighty Monarchs. May gentle currents glide you to your winter home.
May you be happy and peaceful,
May you be healthy and strong.
May you be safe and protected from harm.
May you be at ease in your lives.
~ S. Laufer
Copyright © 2011 by Diane LaSauce all rights reserved