Tag Archives: butterfly garden

More Than 50 Monarch Butterflies Passed Through CV This Fall!

13 Dec

We’ve just filed our annual report with the conservation group Monarch Watch as part of their tagging program. Gardeners placed small numbered ID stickers (tags) on the dorsal wings of 50 Monarch butterflies between August and October 2021.  With luck, a tagged (expired) butterfly will be found in Mexico, the migration destination, recovered and reported.  

A Record-Setting Year for These Special Pollinators

By far, this is the most Monarch butterflies we’ve counted in one season.  No doubt the special new net helped with catching, but a fair amount of the butterflies were found as caterpillars on milkweed plants.  The native plant species is the only type that Monarchs use for egg-laying, which is why conservation efforts call for planting as many of the drought-resistant host plants as possible. (Continued below)

Learn more about Monarch Butterfly Migration, habitat conservation and the Monarch Watch tagging program here. To date, there are 36,863 official way stations in the United States; sadly the species remains at risk, due to deforestation and the ongoing loss of natural habitats.

Migrating Monarchs Need Waystations for Food and Shelter

CVEarthlab Garden was launched in 2013 and a few years later, the play area was registered as an official Monarch Waystation.  This means it provides shelter and food for the migrating butterflies. At CV, food is three different types of milkweeds and a variety of continuously blooming nectar-providing flowers, including annuals such as marigolds and Zinnia and native perennials (plants that come back every year) such as bee balm, black-eyed Susan, echinacea, sedum, coreopsis, goldenrod, violet, and hollyhock.  

We have participated in the tagging program since 2019, but only started documenting CV Monarch caterpillar sightings around 2018.  See the tag numbers we registered in 2021 on this spreadsheet; when a butterfly with the tag number is found it will be reported here.

Want to help support the 2022 Migration? In March we will start to grow butterfly-friendly flowers at our seed-starting event; there are many ways to help with conservation in the Spring, Summer, and Fall. Send your contact info to CVEarthlab@gmail.com and we’ll keep you in the loop! -CVEarthlab Core Committee Members

Related posts: Monarch Butterfly was Tagged, Released Today (2019) ; CV Has Monarch Caterpillars! (2018) ; Why I Love Mulch! (2017) ; What’s In Our Butterfly Garden? (2014)

Eastern Swallowtail Surprise

20 Jul

This beauty left eggs behind when she visited Sunday. Look for them, and baby caterpillars, on the parsley, dill, and fennel.

Update:  Almost certainly a black Eastern swallowtail.  According to this source, egg stage lasts 4 to 9 days… Should we rescue and raise one of these guys?

Fennel plants by play area entry gate

First CV Sunflower Opens — Happy Summer!

11 Jun

Hooray for This Lady + Other Beneficial Bugs!

17 May

Spotted this weekend: a painted lady butterfly, some fat bumble bees, and this ladybug. Spring is here.

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.

Happy 4th of July!

4 Jul

At least 5 Monarch caterpillars are thriving.

What’s In Our Butterfly Garden: August ’14 Edition

6 Aug

Danaus plexippusWhile some of the butterfly plants that were planted this year we not successful, we’ve still got many butterfly host and nectar plants, in addition to our butterfly bushes, that are thriving. These include:

Image

Hollow Joe-Pye Weed or Trumpetweed (Eutrochium fistulosum)

23 Jul

joepyeSAW_01394

Hollow Joe-Pye Weed Image: Wasowski, Sally and Andy, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

 

Flowering in late summer to early fall, Joe-pye weed (Eutrochium fistulosum) shows pale purple or pinkish florets. The stems are purple or greenish, and the plant can grow 5 to 12 feet high. This member of the Aster family is known to attract “scores of butterflies,” according to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center‘s database, as well as honey bees and swamp sparrow birds, which eat the seeds.

Related: What’s In Our Butterfly Garden 

 Sources: wildflower.org/gallery/result.php?id_image=22448plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=EUFI14missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=c720

 

Monarda fistulosa L. (Wild Bergamot, Bee Balm)

3 Jul

 

Monarda fistulas. This is a plate from The Botanical Magazine, Volume 5. 1792 http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/7355. Author: William Curtis

Monarda fistulosa L. This is a plate from The Botanical Magazine, Volume 5. 1792
.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/7355. Author: William Curtis

 

Known as wild bergamot or bee balm (Monarda fistulosa L.), this perennial is a member of the mint family. Its nectar attracts birds, butterflies and hummingbirds. According to Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, wild bergamot is very easy to start from seed. Maybe we should try to collect and dry the seeds for next year?  Its beautiful — and considered especially beneficial to bees and butterflies! –Denise     

Source listwildflower.orgplants.usda.gov

 

 

What’s In Our Butterfly Garden

16 Jun

Over the past two years, CVEarthlab has acquired many butterfly host and nectar plants, in addition to our butterfly bushes.  These include:

An Eastern Tiger Swallowtail checks out CVEarthlab.

An Eastern Tiger Swallowtail checks out CVEarthlab.

Red Admiral

Red Admiral

Monarch in September #3

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