Monarch Butterflies and Summer
Monarch Butterflies are an amazing species. These beautiful creatures need our help. Please join our mission! There are many organizations that gives a wealth of information that you can join.
I raise Monarch Butterflies. To date I've released over 1160 and I hope I'm helping with the decline of these beautiful creatures. Having spoken to many people about this, several have joined forces and are doing the same thing. Planting Milkweed on your property is the most important step. If you plant it, they will come. ( Be mindful of Wasps because Caterpillars are one of their food sources). Us crazy Monarch people spend some of our time searching our plants for eggs, which the Mom lays on the underside of the Milkweed leaves. They are beautiful little eggs and it's hard to believe they will develop into Monarch Butterflies. Once gathered, I put the leaves in a container and sometimes get to watch them hatch. It takes 2-3 days. They are amazing to watch; they eat and then appear to take naps. They also poop a lot! I clean their houses 2 or 3 times a day. It is a time consuming task but so worth it when the day comes that I release them and watch them fly off.
I have Monarch Butterfly houses which are made out of netting with a zipper door. You can get them online. I put the Caterpillar in the houses after about a week of growth. It is estimated that they will be 3,000 times larger than the day they are born.
After about 2 weeks The Caterpillar hangs up side down in a 'J'. They hang like this for about 24 hours. If you're lucky you can watch the miracle as it creates its Chrysalis. It sheds its skin as it is no longer needed. It takes about 3 minutes as the Caterpillar wiggles hard and pushes its outer skin off. The bundle of shed skin falls off, and the green and yellow striped Chrysalis stops wiggling and hangs still. There are little gold spots around the cap of the Chrysalis and these are air ports for the butterfly to get air as it develops.
About 2 weeks later, the last miracle happens; the birth of the Monarch. It fights to get out of the Chrysalis. Without this fight it won't be able to force blood into the wings to expand them. Once born, they hang up side down by their feet for several hours while the wings dry. I usually keep them in their house 12 hours (or overnight).
Once they start flapping their wings it's time to set them free.
The cycle begins again once the Monarch is born. It is truly a labor of love but such an incredible experience. It's a wonderful hobby for children as well. I hope you'll consider joining our mission.
Thank you for reading my Blog!