August 15, 2007

Butterfly Garden: Monarch Butterfly Update

News: Just got our garden certified as a Monarch Waystation by Monarch Watch! Learn more by visiting their website

This is a quick update on the Monarchs. We now have 9 more Monarch cats (caterpillars) in our garden. This time they are on the swamp milkweed (asclepias incarnata), even though it isn’t blooming. The asclepias tuberosa was shown in previous reports on Monarch cats in the garden. I never thought that cats were cute until now! :-)

All of our milkweed was planted this spring, so we are thrilled with the response from the Monarchs. It was difficult to find milkweed for sale in my area as it is very late to emerge from the ground. If you plant it, make sure you mark the spot this fall so you won't accidentally dig it up next spring.

I have found it very difficult to photograph a Monarch butterfly. Seldom do they sit on a plant with their wings open. They flit about a lot more than the swallowtails, so I find myself chasing them around with my camera! I managed to snap one photo (after lots of blurry attempts) of one sitting on the blue agastache in the butterfly garden. The buddleia varieties and the lantana continue to be big favorites for all of the butterflies.

I’m still watching the bronze fennel to see if we’ll have Swallowtail cats!

Happy butterfly gardening!

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Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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