Magnificent Monarch

Zoom in on the photo to see how many Monarch caterpillars you can find.
Here’s a close up – pictures of the Monarch Caterpillars courtesy of My favorite Honeybee

My husband and I wanted to provide a source of nutrition and a place for Monarch Butterflies to eat and lay their eggs, so we bought milkweed seeds last year – the perennial plant came back this year (though they don’t bloom until year three), and grew several feet tall. When milkweed plants are two years old, they are ready to be eaten by the Monarch caterpillars, and true to form, the caterpillars showed up this year! We were both like little kids when we discovered Monarch caterpillars devouring our milkweed a few weeks ago.

Doing a little online research it turns out these creatures are quite fascinating and complex. A few interesting facts about this fantastic phenomena, the Monarch:

  • During the annual migration cycle for Monarchs, there are four to five generations involved in the journey. The migration cycle starts in Mexico in the spring. They migrate north to the United States and Canada, then migrate south, back to Mexico, or California.
  • Monarchs can fly up to 3,000 miles to migrate.
  • The first three generations of the Monarch in the migration cycle only live 2-6 weeks. The last generation lives for up to nine months.  
  • Milkweed is the only plant on which Monarch butterflies will lay their eggs and is the only food source for Monarch caterpillars, making these plants very important to the Monarch species.
  • The number of Monarchs during the 2019-2020 migration period was down 53 percent from the previous year.
  • Monarchs have emerged from their cocoons on the International Space Station
  • Many think that the word butterfly came from the thought that witches could take on the butterfly’s shape. When doing so, they would steal milk and butter.  

24 thoughts on “Magnificent Monarch

    1. Thank you Tim we will have to get some. I also read that they eat butternut squash as well. Hope you and your sweetheart are doing well on the ranch. We are still in semi lockdown but we are both well and grateful for that. Love and hugs 🤗💕Joni.

    1. Thank you my friend. Most of the recent work is not mine and I always write the photographer’s name when it is given. All my older post I use my own photography. Thank you so much for your visit and your kind words I really appreciate it. Have a wonderful day and blessings to you and your loved ones. Love ❤️ Joni

    1. I just heard from another person that they like dill. We will definitely plant some. You are so tight they consume a leaf an hour. Good for you. Yea, wasn’t fun knowing you were helping to replenish the world with those gorgeous orange butterflies. ❤️💕🤗love Joni

  1. I love this share Joni! Many thanks to you and your husband for this colorful and informative aspect on nature and its flamboyant little pollinators. I remember the air being sprayed with malathion and afterward, monarchs and other butterflies became almost extinct. I am glad they are back. Many loving blessings in your monarch butterfly gardening! XOXO🍃🍄💗🍃

    1. Oh you are so sweet. I use to run behind the DDT trucks when I was little so I know what you mean. Scary the stuff we do to our planet. Malathion I have to look that up as it sounds deadly. It is so fun watching them grow. We have had three crops of them so far. It is so fun. I am glad you liked it my friend. Blessings and hugs to you. xoxoxo love ❤️ Joni ❤️💕🤗☕️☕️

      1. I don’t remember the DDT trucks. But I remember the 1990s aerial spraying. Any spraying of mosquitos is a good thing but spraying butterflies is disastrous, butterflies’ jobs are just as demanding and needed as those of bumblebees.

  2. They certainly are very important. I looked up Malathion and it truly kills many types of insects in a hideous way. Their nerves start firing to the point they can’t move at all because their systems are on overload and then they die. It is also poisonous to humans. One such case was where a person used this chemical to spray his personal garden in Arizona. After drifting spray got into an elementary school nearly 300 kids were hospitalized with breathing difficulties, headaches and nausea.
    Sad what we are doing to our environment but also the many effects that this chemical can cause for humans including lymphoma. Thank you so much for your comment my friend. I really appreciate your response which helped to educate me as I was not familiar with this chemical which is widely used all over the world. Bless you and may you have an amazing weekend my kind friend. Sending love and butterfly 🦋 kisses. Joni

    1. Thank you for your kind words and such support. It means so much to me my friend. My husband found a beautiful monarch this morning in our bee and butterfly garden. It has been such a blessing to us. Much love, J❤️💕

  3. Laughing here! We have a year FULL of milkweed for the same reasons! How fun! They spread and spread and we let them run wild. We become like little kids when we find a new crysillis or a freshly hatched beauty! How very fun! Sending huge hugs and a big “Cheers” to Y’alls butterflying!!! ❤️🥂🦋😃💖

    1. Oh how positively wonderful as I didn’t know they will spread that is wonderful news or if I did I forgot. We will let them grow and spread just as you two do. We are doing our part to have these magnificent creatures make it to Mexico. Yea, boy we do have a bit in common. I like imagining you living amongst the creatures of your island my friend. It makes me happy. Sending love ❤️🤗🦋🦋🦋blue butterfly. Joni

  4. How wonderful your post brought new ideas & people sharing about providing plants for the butterflies. I do not have milkweed, I will have to research if it grows in my zone. I do have a butterfly bush & lots of plants/flowers for bees & hummers. Nature is so beautiful & feeds us too. xoxo

    1. It two years before it flowered and one of my followers, Katy, told me it will start spreading. It was such a super fun project for Scott and I and we were like kids checking on them everyday. I wonder if it might be too cold there I don’t know. Thanks for reading my dear friend. Love, kisses, hugs and always prayers coming your way. Love ❤️ Joni 🤗💕🧚‍♀️🌹🌹🌹

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