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Monarch butterfly population moves closer to extinction


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15 hours ago, Brad Eden said:

Monarchs were prolific when I was a kid growing up in SE MA. We had a lot of milkweed around our house. My brothers and I use to capture the Monarch caterpillars, and put them in big glass jars with milkweed and watch them turn to a hanging chrysalis, and then emerge as a butterfly. It was like the movie Alien, watching them break free from their encasing, and slowly unwrap themselves from a twisted dish rag into a beautiful butterfly. I can’t remember seeing a Monarchs up her in Maine, and have no idea if they are still around where I grew up.

I did the same thing growing up.  Wasn’t a summer that went by without some jars on my shelf with Monarch caterpillars and milkweed.  For the past 5 years or so I hadn’t seen a single Monarch butterfly.  Finally, this summer I saw a few. I have hope....

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After not seeing any milk weed for years I've been seeing more an and more. Not like when I was a kid, but any increase is good for more butterflies.

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Until some better plan comes along it is going to be individual people who make or break the pollinating insect situation. Bees are in the hurt locker too. Google Bee& Butterfly Fund for info on pollinator plantings & plans. A plot the size of a small garden can kick out 100s of new Monarchs. You can always share seed with neighbors.  B&B has free seed or a few dollars will buy the right plant species mix. These are perennials so one and done.

 

Species you want by Monarch preference for larva

Orange Butterfly Weed

Swamp Milkweed

Common Milkweed

For feeding:

Blazing Stars, Meadow Blazing Star seems to attract the most.

Hyssop

Bee Balm

Columbine

And the bees of all kinds will appreciate it too. When the little neighbor girls come over to visit the first place they go to is the pollinator patch. The squeals of delight alone make the effort worthwhile. 

 

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