Saturday, April 14, 2012


The monarch butterflies have been passing through, coming up from Mexico. On their journey, they are laying eggs for the next generation. Yesterday, I found a monarch caterpillar. It's big enough that it's almost ready to start weaving it's cocoon. Then, it will move on, heading north, from here. I really don't see monarchs during the summer. But, I see lots of them on their way to and from Mexico, during fall and spring migrations. And, that is such a fascinating story, if you ever get the chance to research the "plight of the monarchs". The generation that makes it to Mexico for the winter, survives several months so they can make it back to the United States and Canada to reproduce. I would never, never capture and put one of them in a jar or cage. They are on a mission that is instinctive. They NEED to get to Mexico! Below, I posted photos of the butterflies and caterpillars. The top photo is a monarch and it's on my eupatorium plant. They LOVE eupatorium! The flowers are just now opening for spring and will bloom until they freeze this winter.
     Every year I grow Maypop passion vine so the fritillary butterflies will lay their eggs on the leaves. It's still early spring, but my passion vine has lots of leaves. Yesterday, there were three fritillary butterflies in my yard and they were laying eggs on the leaves. Below, is a photo of the butterfly and the caterpillar. There are lots of holes in the leaves from the caterpillars nibbling on them. But, I grow the vine just for them.I have sooo much growth in my yard, that it never bothers me, when I see holes in leaves. I just know that, soon, there will be more butterflies. Some very tiny and some much larger like the giant swallowtail. And, the plant will produce more leaves to replace what has been eaten, anyway.

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