Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Week 2 Caterpillar

Its been 1 week since last post of my baby caterpillar.  Below is the picture showing how much our baby has grown in 1 week.  Notice the black trail behind it?  that is the skin that it molted out of.  The periods between molting (shedding of skin) is called instars.  The caterpillar goes through 5 instar stages before it makes a chrysalis

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

First Caterpillar of the season June 21, 2016

Photo below shows a Milkweed leaf where an egg has hatched, and the tiny caterpillar has eaten the egg, and spots on the surrounding leaf.  If you are able to find a milkweed leaf with these tiny holes there is likely a tiny caterpillar nearby.  As you can see they are very small in their first few days of life.  As they grow, and eat more and more, they become bigger and bigger and are easier to spot, but many do not last that long.  They are eaten by beetles, or even other caterpillars.  Most eggs simply do not make it to adulthood.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Common Milkweeds

Here are some photos of Milkweeds in my garden.  Female Monarchs typically lay eggs on the underside of the leaves.  When the caterpillar emerges it eats the egg, then begins to feast on the tender Milkweed leaves.  Tiny caterpillars are often found on the underside of the leaves, as the caterpillar gets larger it may be found anywhere in the garden, however the caterpillar ONLY feeds on Milkweed. (there are several varieties of Milkweed depending on location)  These are most common Milkweeds in northern US.

Common Milkweed

Milkweeds in butterfly garden

Saturday, June 18, 2016

I am the Monarch Lady.  Self proclaimed watcher, supporter and spokesperson for all things Monarch.  My yard is full of Milkweeds, and butterfly friendly plants.  I look for butterflies, caterpillars and eggs in my garden on a regular basis.  So far (June 18, 2016)  I have possibly seen one Monarch fly by, but not stop long enough for me to even identify it as a Monarch.

I am very concerned about environmental effects on our pollinators!  We ALL need to become involved and learn how to save Monarchs and Bees before they disappear forever!

I would like to share my knowledge of raising Monarch butterflies from egg to caterpillar to adult butterfly with all who will indulge me, and I will post photos from my own experiences.

My family recently visited the Piedra Herrada Monarch reserve in the Mountains west of Mexico city and saw one of the overwinter sites for our Northern Monarchs.  It was a life changing event for me!  It was like being in a snowglobe of Monarchs.  Something I will never forget and it renewed by determination to educate anyone who will listen to me about saving these beautiful butterflies!

Piedra Herrada Monarch reserve