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Photo of Caterpillars

17 Aug

How Many Caterpillars Do You See?

17 Aug

The parsley in the standing bed outside the play area is filled with feasting caterpillars. They arent Monarchs, look like swallowtails or painted ladies.

Monarch Butterfly Was Tagged, Released Today

11 Aug

After only about 11 days in chrysalis, our Monarch butterfly emerged!


His name is Leif.


Kids gathered to watch Mila, who cared for the caterpillar in her home, release the beautiful butterfly after grownups tagged him with coded stickers.  The tags are part of Monarch Watch’s citizen science tagging project, which allows people to attach small stickers to Monarchs in order to help scientists study the migration patterns of this at-risk species.

Leif, a male, was marked with code AACB 225, and was released from CV on 08.11.19.milamonarchmomentIMG_4991

Today Leif embarked on a 6-to-8-week journey, and if the tag is recovered (hopefully in Mexico, the migrating Monarch’s destination) we will know he made it!  Or, if he makes it only as far as Texas or another US state, and his tag is recovered, we will learn those details.

Monarch Butterfly #2 Is Born

11 Aug

More info about tagging and releasing later today to come.

Update On Monarch Caterpillar #2

2 Aug

Thanks to everyone who offerred to care for this guy! Mila and her mom, Dana, have been doing a great job and it looks like the little guy is already moving into pupa stage.

Based on the interest, I will look into purchasing an additional habitat for future Monarch caterpillars. This would allow more families to participate in the raising and tagging of these very important creatures.

More info to come!


ISO Caterpillar Stewards (Response Needed By Wed Afternoon)

30 Jul


Are there any volunteers to help care for the caterpillar over the next week and a half?  I will be traveling and I know I cannot refresh the cage with milkweed every day or so.

Wednesday July 31st Is the Last Day to Volunteer

Read on if you are interested. Thanks in advance for your consideration.  If we don’t have volunteers very soon, I will release the caterpillar Wednesday night so she can get all the milkweed she needs in the wild of CV. This means we will lost the opportunity to observe the transformation and tag and release the Monarch butterfly in mid to late August. To volunteer, post a comment or email

You Can Help Care For Caterpillar Outside, Or Bring Her Into Your Apartment

The caterpillar habitat is outside, but if one person wants to commit to caring for this caterpillar until she goes into pupa (cocoon-like stage) over the next week or so, that person could care for the caterpillar indoors.  (Caterpillar shouldn’t be kept in super cold air conditioned room)

Care Is Easy But Must Be Done Daily

Care tasks include cleaning the cage everyday or so, which means replacing day old milkweed with fresh leaves (these are available inside and outside the play area), cleaning out the caterpillar poop and generally monitoring the caterpillars growth until she goes into crysalis/pupa/cocoon.  This will likely happen around August 6-9th.

Daily Care Tasks Will Only Be Needed Until About August 6th or 7th

Once she’s in pupa stage, she doesn’t need to be monitored as closely until about 1.5 to 2 weeks have passed.

Butterfly Will Be Tagged and Released Around The Week of August 19th

After she emerges as a butterfly, she will need to be released within a day or two.  By that time, around August 21-23, Benji and I will be back and can take over.

Benji and I got the tags from Monarch Watch and plan to tag her before releasing her as part of their citizen science project; Benji will likely document the process for an extra credit science project. Thanks!  -Denise

More information is here:


Welcome Monarch Caterpillar #2

28 Jul


Just call us Monarch Village!

I discovered several caterpillars on the milkweed today and moved one into the habitat container.  You can find the netted cage hanging on the persimmon tree outside the wooden garden-border fence.

All residents are welcome to observe this Monarch caterpillar.  You can move the habitat for observation but please do not touch the actual caterpillar. If you move the netted cage, please return it where you found it:  under the tree in a shaded are.  The caterpillar habitat should not be placed in direct sunlight.

You can read more here.  If you’d like to be involved in the raising and care for this caterpillar over the next 3 weeks, please post a comment or send an email message to 

We will keep the evolving creature outside, making sure she has fresh milkweed, and after she’s in pupa stage, making sure to note when she emerges so we can release her within 24 hours.

With luck we can try to tag and track the butterfly that will likely emerge mid-August.




Lots of things are sprouting!

25 Jul


Bush beans!



And tomatoes are ripening!

Jay Street Morning Glories Spread

24 Jul

Training the vines to climb hotizontally, as well as vertically, speeds fence coverage.

Reminder: Pls help 9am to 11:45 am today if you can

20 Jul

Garden needs work. Thanks!

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