Monarchs, Milkweed, and Me

IMGP6507By S. J. Brown

Saturday morning I will be hosting a group of fellow gardeners on our back deck. We will be talking about Monarch Butterflies.  I began tagging Monarchs three or four year ago and have learned a lot about them since.  So I will be sharing some of my wisdom along with some milkweed seeds.

1 Milkweed

Milkweed is essential for the survival of Monarch Butterflies since they will only lay their eggs on milkweed plants.   When the caterpillars emerge they gorge themselves on the poisonous milkweed which makes them taste bad to predators like birds and wasps.

2 Monarch

 

 

 

My latest addition to our yard is a butterfly garden. Butterflies are attracted to red, yellow, orange, pink and purple flowers so I made sure to include all of these colors in my garden. It has enticed a variety of butterflies to visit, but no Monarchs yet.  They should be arriving in our area soon.  I am hoping at least one will make an appearance for our little group.

3 Monarch

 

 

 

Monarch Butterflies aren’t just pretty they are pollinators, and also an indicator species. Scientist use indicator species to judge the health of our environment. Unfortunately Monarch butterfly numbers are declining. While Mother Nature does play a role in regulating the number of any one species mankind also plays a role. The destruction of habitat for development and the practice of mowing down milkweed and other beneficial plants has impacted Monarch numbers greatly.

4 Monarch

 

 

 

However with help from home gardeners and groups like Monarch watch I am confident that Monarch numbers will increase. Tagging Monarchs helps keep track of their numbers from year to year. The tags are a little round sticker with reference numbers on them. They aren’t much larger than the tip of a pencil eraser. The tag is placed on the base of the Monarchs hind wing. Before the butterfly is released the date, location, and sex of the Monarch is recorded. This information is added to the information collected throughout the country and sent to Monarch Watch where the numbers are tallied.

5 Tag

 

 

 

Monarch Butterflies are only in my area for a short time so I try to get as many photographs as I can. However photographing butterflies is not that easy. They flutter from one bloom to another and often prefer the top of my butterfly bush. But experience has taught me to be patient, they will often return to the same plant after a few minutes. So I no longer chase them around the yard instead I sit and wait for them to return.  While I wait I capture images of the other visitors to my garden.

6 Butterfly

 

 

 

Thanks for stopping by I hope you learned a little about Monarch Butterflies and enjoyed the photos.

7 Hummingbird moth

 

 

 

Connect with S. J. Brown on Facebook and be one of the first to see what she has been up and view her Sunday Shares.

 Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sj.brown.3367

S. J. Browns coloring books feature sketches based on her photographs.

CBCover Acover

Cover 3-26-23Back Cover 4-24-2013Close up and Close Encounters is available on Amazon  at

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=close+ups+%26+close+Encounters

Or get your autographed copy at S. J. Brown website http://www.sjbrown.50megs.com

S. J. Brown’s children’s pictures books are only available through S. J. Brown.

You can order your copies from her website S.J. Brown

Cover All the Birds I See Cover

 

Learning

 

IMGP6507By S. J  Brown

Nobody can possibly know everything. All of us should be learning new things every day. Learning new things enhances our lives.  Each new thing we learn has the potential to make our lives richer, fuller, and safer. 

There are some things that everyone should know, but unfortunately not everyone does. When and how to use a blinker when you are driving, or looking both ways before you cross the street are important.  

 Did you know the higher the number on your freezer dial the colder the freezer temperature will be?  Facts like what the heck is BPH and why did anyone think it was safe to use in things like baby bottles and water bottles are a bit harder to learn.  Sometimes it comes down to doing research, other times life shows us what we need to know. 

 I tend to learn things that most people aren’t concerned with. But these things come in handy for me.  I know all kinds of things about wild critters and nature. Did you know that Black Bears like the sound that a film camera makes when it advances the film?

Bear

Yes, he was close enough to hear it. 

Deer tend to stay away from plants with an aroma like marigolds and lavender. This is something many gardeners have learned over the years. 

Deer

I recently learned that our local home improvement store is on the migrating path for Monarch Butterflies.

Monarch

Did you know Hummingbirds can fly upside down.  While it is an interesting fact, it’s not something everyone would need to know.  Capturing them doing this is not easy. 

Hummingbird

Do you know what a lemur looks like?

Lemurs

These guys welcomed me into their world for a brief visit and taught me a little more about animal curiosity. 

The world around us is filled with interesting things and opportunities to learn There are critters all around us like this tree frog that likes our backyard pool.

Frog

I friend of mine recently learned that the fox that was spotted in her yard wasn’t concerned with her or her dog.  It was probably on its way to check out how accessible the neighbors chickens were.

Fox

As a member of this group I have learned about history, trains, traditions, and much more.  Hopefully I have returned the favor and taught all of you a thing or two about wild critters.  All of us have a little bit of wisdom to share and lots to learn.  So lets all make today  a productive learning experience.

 

Thanks for stopping by. 

Connect with S. J. Brown on Facebook and be one of the first to see what she has been up and view her Sunday Shares.

 Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sj.brown.3367

S. J. Browns coloring books feature sketches based on her photographs.

CBCover Acover

Cover 3-26-23Back Cover 4-24-2013Close up and Close Encounters is available on Amazon  at

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=close+ups+%26+close+Encounters

Or get your autographed copy at S. J. Brown website http://www.sjbrown.50megs.com

S. J. Brown’s children’s pictures books are only available through S. J. Brown.

You can order your copies from her website S.J. Brown

Cover All the Birds I See Cover