Tag Archives: butterfly gardening

Welcome Monarch Butterflies!

27 Aug

The 2022 migration has begun!

In late August, masses of these butterflies begin an epic trip stretching thousands of miles from areas across the United States and as far north as Canada to overwinter in mountaintops of Central Mexico.

On their way south, the amazing Monarchs pass through CV to eat our native milkweeds.

A typical Monarch travels for 30-45 days. This year, the migration is expected to pass through our area from @ Aug 23, 2022 until @ Sept 15, 2022, peaking, roughly, during the first weeks of September.

They won’t hang around long. Monarchs will travel as much as 2,100 miles, averaging 50 miles a day, to reach their destination in Central Mexico by the end of October.

Resting in the treetops, the butterflies hibernate for four months, covering oyamel fir trees (Abies religiosa) in thick layers that resemble black and orange leaves. During this period, the monarchs sit with wings folded, living off of fat reserves, until they head north in the Spring.

Want to Help Catch and Raise Butterflies Here at CV?

On nice days, we will aim to be outside at 1pm and around 4-6pm. Any grownup residents (and their kids, if they have them) can learn to help safely catch and tag the butterflies. (Watch this video from min 5 to 7 to see how to net and handle the creatures.) To get involved and learn more about when we plan to be outside, please send an email message to cvearthlab@gmail.com. We keep the pro-grade nets locked in the shed and limit shed access to active garden members (its never too late to join!)

Collecting Caterpillars to Raise

Monarch butterflies only lay eggs on milkweed, so any caterpillars found on the pink and white flowered plants are baby Monarch butterflies. We can raise these in the net habitats. — if you find one please alert the group (cvearthlab@gmail.com) and put it into the habitat with some milkweed. Its best to keep the caterpillar outside and avoid touching it (our germs can hurt them.) After a week or two , it will turn into a crysalys, transforming after 7-10 days, then emerge as a butterfly.

Learn more about Monarch Butterfly Conservation Efforts at CV here. Thanks in advance for your interest and support.


One Big Monarch Caterpillar, One Small

28 Aug

Both need names!

Monarch on Milkweed — In June!

23 Jun

I happened uponn this monarch butterfly feeding. Its too early for the 2021 migration, so this is likely a straggler from 2020. Stay tunned for more about catching, tagging, and raising Monarchs in late July thru October.

What’s Flowering This Week? Milkweed & Clover!

27 May

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.

A Butterfly Is Born!

18 Jul

Welcome to the world a new Monarch butterfly. Captured from CV milkweed as a caterpillar, she emerged from her pupa (in a habitat container) in the play area this morning. I left the flap open, but she probably wont leave for another day or so; if you pass the play area, look for the habitat near the pole where the helmet hangs

Black Swallowtail Drops Larva on Parsley Today

14 Jul

Isn’t she pretty?!?!

Painted Lady Butterfly Gets Pollen From Echinacea Flower

14 Jul

Today’s Headcount: Six

3 Jul

There are six fat and juicy Monarch caterpillars on the CV milkweed.

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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