Welcome to my ramblings...

Come with me as I travel through the real places of my life and into the steep, switch-back roads of the imagination. Join me. You'll be good company and your thoughts are welcome.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Monarch Butterly Habitat in Grassy Creek

I am saddened by the fact that Monarch butterflies are threatened. Their numbers are declining as humans mow down more and more of their native habitat. Here in Grassy Creek, expanding habitat for Monarch butterflies has turned out to be successful and fairly easy.


 Last winter, a friend brought me a small baggie of fluffy seed he had collected from butterfly weed. I started the seed in the greenhouse in early spring, transplanted them into pots in May, and planted them in the garden mid-June. By September the plants were full-grown and beautiful, attracting butterflies. 

New butterfly weed plants were in full bloom by September.

Monarch butterflies only lay eggs on milkweed plants and butterfly weed (asclepias tuberosa) is a variety of milkweed.

 Eggs grow into caterpillars that eat nothing but milkweed until they grow large enough to form their chrysalis for the final metamorphosis to the Monarch butterfly. This year I saw both the butterflies and the caterpillars on the butterfly weed.

Monarch Caterpillar on milkweed

Monarch Caterpillar starting chrysalis on tall ageratum

I haven't captured a photo of the chrysalis form of the Monarch here, but they are not as specific about where they attach, so knowing where to look may be the challenge.

The "Bowl" full of goldenrod which provides nectar for migrating Monarchs, September.

One important consideration for us is to make sure we don't mow down the native milkweed and nectar plants that thrive in the fields all around us and give the Monarchs time to complete another life-cycle. There are four of those per year from the time they leave Mexico in spring and migrate north to Canada and back by late fall.

 A Monarch Butterfly enjoying nectar from a tall ageratum

Now, in October, the Monarchs, on schedule, have passed through on their way back to Mexico for winter. My goal for next year is to add photos of the eggs on milkweed as well as a photo of a chrysalis. Right here. See you then.

Friday, May 15, 2020

On May 10, 2020, neighbors paraded up True North Grade in cars and on farm-vehicles to celebrate North Carolina reopening after Stay at Home orders were modified by Governor Cooper. Here's the video by Germain Media.

Covid-19 Reopening Parade in Grassy Creek