The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting cooler, and it's time for our Monarch friends to fly south to avoid the cold and snow. I again was part of the Minnesota Monarch Festival held last Saturday Sept 10th at Lake Nokomis. I enjoy teaching, and just sharing my love and knowledge about Monarchs with anyone who will listen, so as you can imagine this festival is one of the highlights of my summer. We tagged and released over 200 Monarchs to send to Mexico. If you happen to find, or see a tagged Monarch, the tags are a tiny white circle on the hind wing, report your finding if possible.
I have lost track of exactly how many butterflies I have actually released that I raised this summer, but I'm figuring by the time September ends (I still have 4 caterpillars, and 7 chrysalises) I will have released nearly 40 butterflies. I have also shared them with friends, and neighbors so they can enjoy this beautiful process. While that is a small drop in the bucket, the lack of caterpillars this summer is a huge concern. I feel like I should have had more than twice that number if numbers of butterflies were more normal. If you are reading this and are in the Minneapolis area and would like to help me in this mission I have Milkweed seeds in a MilkCrate at the end of my driveway, please plant Milkweed and butterfly friendly flowers in your garden ( they need SUN) and you too will have butterflies and caterpillars in your garden. Help me Save the Monarch!
Here is my pretty girl hatched today, and my handsome male! See if you can identify the difference.
Hint (Male has a black dot on the hind wings....Female does not) Also if you notice the veins in the male are thinner than the female. These two butterflies are headed to Mexico....safe travels.