Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Journey North posted a news flash announcing the first arrivals in Mexico. Citizen-scientists and casual observers are reporting monarchs along the California coast. Robert Pacelli gave his permission to share this photo of monarchs gathering yesterday at Pacific Grove. Robert spearheaded an effort to create a restoration habitat after massive pruning crashed the number of overwintering monarchs last year. Early indications are very hopeful with monarchs once again returning in higher numbers. Efforts to save the monarchs make a difference.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Bob and I were thrilled to see the monarch on Sunday morning laying eggs on the Desert Milkweed in our yard. (You can see her abdomen depositing eggs on the flower.) Last year we noticed that monarchs frequently lay eggs on the flowers or very fresh new growth of Desert Milkweed, Asclepias subulata. The tiny caterpillars easily eat the soft, fresh growth. As they get larger, the caterpillars can ingest the thicker branches. Both Tatsuyo and I are watching the eggs, hoping for caterpillars. I have three tiny ones from last Friday's egg laying activity that we hope will successfully grow. Stay tuned!
Want monarch butterflies to visit your yard? Local plant sales begin this weekend! Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Superior and the Desert Botanical Garden both offer various milkweeds, members of the Asclepias family.