January 26, 2009

Monarch Butterfly Migration Documentary

Gather your friends and family to learn about the miraculous migration of the Monarch butterflies. The yearly migration can cover up to 2,000 miles and take two months.

The PBS show, NOVA, will air a special presentation on Tuesday, January 27th.

The Incredible Journey of the Monarch Butterflies is a documentary by director Nick de Pencier.

The film follows the epic migration of the Monarchs from Canada and the United States to Mexico. Monarch experts share their research findings from studying these fascinating butterflies.

In my garden, a Certified Monarch Waystation, I grow host plants as a food source for the Monarch caterpillars. Throughout my gardens, I also grow nectar plants for the butterflies.

I'd love to add a chrysalis house, like the one in the butterfly garden at the JC Raulston Arboretum (JCRA) in Raleigh. However, a simple setup with everyday materials, such as clean glass jars with ventilated lids, can be used for rearing Monarch larvae.

Many gardeners look for the eggs on the host plant, milkweed. They protect the larvae by placing the milkweed leaves and eggs in a chrysalis house. This helps to ensure that the caterpillars hatch, a chrysalis forms and the butterflies emerge unharmed.

The raising, feeding and releasing of butterflies gives you the chance to gently hold them before they fly away on their own.

Kylee, at Our Little Acre, also has a post about this documentary.

If you'd like to certify your garden as a Monarch Waystation or learn more about rearing the butterflies, please refer to the information at Monarch Watch.

Photos and story by Freda Cameron. Refer to the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) show schedule for your area. NOVA airs at 8:00pm in the UNC-TV viewing area.
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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