Monarch Butterflies!!

Butterflies, Butterflies, and more butterflies! Did I mention butterflies?

For the last few months, I have come to the realization that I am now a monarch butterfly surrogate mother.  A while back, Adam and family from Adam’s Art and Bonsai gave me a little butterfly plant that he obtained from Epcot.  I took it home and began cultivating it and all of it’s cuttings and seeds.  While I knew it would be great for several species from butterflies to humming birds, I never quite realized the positive impact these plants have on the local monarch population.

At first, I was admiring these plants for their beautiful flowers… until I realized that this year brought with it about 20 monarch caterpillars.

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They ate….

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and they ate…

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…and they finally turned into the beautiful green chrysalis’ that we associate with monarch butterflies.

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Unfortunately, they made chrysalis’ everywhere on my back porch.  Fearing they would be harmed just from regular foot traffic, I chose to carefully relocate them to their own “butterfly tree”.

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Once they began to emerge, it was magical.

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Now, what should I do with all these shed chrysalis’?

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I encourage everyone to find some butterfly weed and help out this magical species.  It is an easy plant to keep and propagate! In addition, it comes in several different color varieties that will add a unique beauty to your home and gardens. I already have these butterflies returning to lay more eggs. How exciting!

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