We were lucky enough to spot two Monarch butterfly caterpillars in our butterfly garden last month.
There may have been more, but we knew of two.
We nurtured them along. kept them safe and once they formed chrysalises we moved them into a netted butterfly house to watch them mature.
Yesterday, one emerged as the gorgeous butterfly you see here. The other should follow any day now.
As many of you know, the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens became a certified Monarch Waystation last winter. This means we provide the plants and habitat Monarch butterflies need to complete their lifecycle from egg to butterfly.
Looks like we did well.
Thank you to Judy. our butterfly foster mother who cared for them.
Kay S. took this image of a monarch caterpillar on a milkweed plant in her raised bed.
Monarchs have been on the decline due to extreme weather conditions that devastated monarch populations, loss of habitat and use of herbicides. Planting milkweed helps support these fluttering beauties as they need milkweed to survive. Their caterpillars, like the one pictured, only eat milkweed plants (Asclepias spp.). Monarch butterflies seek out milkweed plants to lay their eggs.
In the gardens this July, I spotted about a handful of Monarchs in total. Next year, why don’t we plant a bed of milkweed to support monarch populations and their migration? What do you think?