garden ponderings

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Monarch Butterfly workshop

This morning I attended a workshop to learn how to attract and raise Monarch butterflies.
While they live and mate in my area, they need to migrate south for the winter.

Their survival rate can increase from 10% to 90%, when you raise the caterpillars in captivity.  There are so many predators in nature.


In my gardens I have the flowers the butterfly needs for nectar during their short life span.  I purchased seed for 2 varieties of milkweed plants it needs to lay eggs on and for the caterpillars to eat.


Flowers of the different varieties of milkweed do not necessarily look alike.  These were particularly pretty and colorful.  That is a monarch caterpillar on the milkweed leaf above.

When a butterfly first emerges from the chrysalis,
it’s wings take a few hours to fully open up and get un-wrinkled.
In the right photo, the dark colored chrysalis has a butterfly ready emerge.

The native plant and butterfly gardens were gorgeous.

Here is a link to the place I visited: