This post originally ran last year, but I find it so important I am running it again. Help keep monarch butterflies in our world. Pass it on.
While many insects make a lot of people say “yuck”…butterflies are in a category of their own. There is no ick factor to these beautiful and amazing creatures. One of the most recognized – and perhaps most popular – butterflies in North America is the MONARCH. Sadly, this beautiful insect is disappearing at an alarming rate. In the 1990’s up to 1 BILLION monarchs migrated from the Northern US and Canada each fall to the OYAMEL FIR forests of Mexico. Another million wintered in forested groves along the California coast. Now, scientists estimate that only 56.5 MILLION remain. This represents a decline of nearly 80%. Most of the decline is blamed on changing use of land; but we homeowners can change that. You can use your property to create “monarch way stations” by planting MILKWEED and other nectar filled plants. These plots allow monarchs to successfully produce generations and sustain them for their annual migrations. Milkweeds are the ONLY plants on which monarchs deposit their eggs and on which their larvae feed. Without milkweed, there would be no monarchs. To learn more about monarchs and way stations visit: http://www.monarchwatch.org Milkweed is easy to grow from seed. And, here is a link for free milkweed plants. They require little care and will spread easily once they take hold. They can take over a garden, so be careful where you plant them. Go to: http://www.livemonarch.com/free-milkweed-seeds.htm
Not only will you bring beauty to your own habitat, but you will be helping an endangered species. Here’s a link to a wonderful post to start a discussion about Monarchs from Terry Jennings.: http://www.kcswildfacts.com/KCs-Blog.html?entry=monarch-butterflies-amazing-travelers