Thursday, September 21, 2006

A new monarch

Sydney's mother, Fran Bowling, and Sydney's Aunt Charlotte Sartin both raise monarch butterfies, a good habit they acquired in the classroom during years of teaching school. They collect larvae or cocoons, tend them in jars, then release the adult monarchs when they're ready to spread their wings. Sydney and I didn't arrive in Roanoke, Va., this past weekend in time to see this monarch climb out of its cocoon, but we were present to see Fran release it. These photos were taken in its first moments out of the jar. If you love monarchs as we do, please learn to love milkweed, too; it's the only plant on which monarchs will lay eggs, and the only plant on which monarch caterpillars feed. Too often, flourishing stands of roadside milkweed get needlessly mowed down or destroyed by herbicides, thus destroying the monarchs' only habitat. Learn to recognize milkweed, and plant it and protect it wherever you can.

1 comment:

Dr. Phil (Physics) said...

My step-mother-in-law does Monarch raising in Chicago -- many hundreds this year alone We raised a few -- maybe twenty. Very hard to catch them emerging from the cocoon, caught one just after its exit one morning.

Dr. Phil