Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Fallen Monarch

I looked for Monarch Butterflies all summer long without ever seeing a single one.  Finally, on a cold blustery Fall day a couple of weeks ago, I found one, or what was left of one.

A poor, small, cold creature who should have been one of the intrepid travelers headed off to Mexico.

How is it that some of these frail, delicate beauties manage to fly thousands of miles every year?  

Unfortunately, this one will never make that trip.

I think I will go out and collect some Milkweed fluff to plant in my back field. Maybe next year there will be some mighty monarchs who make it farther than this poor, beautiful, doomed creature.

10 comments:

  1. Butterflies have such amazing designs and colors. I'm partial to the Monarchs, too, as we are lucky to have a wintering destination for them in our town. On warmer days they fly out of their grove of trees to drink water in a nearby creek. A path I walk is between the creek and their trees and it is like walking through orange confetti.

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  2. Amazing creatures, aren't they? I found one once that had one wing that never developed properly and it just fluttered around ineffectively. A very sad sight. We too, saw very few of them this past summer, in spite of having a lot of milkweed. I hope they are not doomed.

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  3. it might have been dormant because of the weather. if it gets sunny and warm they can rebound. We have butterflies- mostly the aphrodite with few monarchs.

    Milkweed is poisonous to horses but I find that butterflies love echinacea.

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    1. I believe those butterflies still need that milkweed. It seems like the worry associated with poisonous plants can greatly vary. For example, buttercup is supposed to be poisonous to cattle, and unfortunately I have quite a bit of that stuff on my hill, which hopefully will diminish now that I am on a liming campaign. However, it never causes any problems for my cattle or sheep, as they have so many other things to eat. I believe that usually if livestock are offered a variety of grasses and forbs to choose from, they stay away from the dangerous ones. An exception to this with cattle are wilted cherry leaves, which are very, very deadly to cattle.

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  4. Sad, but I don't think any one Monarch makes it. That's what the Milk weed is for! This one has already duplicated itself. AND it's always a good idea to have a ffield of Milk weed - the fragrance is delish!

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    1. Shelley, are you trying to depress us or what? Of course you would not feel this way if you had a daily fix of Bess, who manages to brighten up everything including environmental distress and world violence. However, I am totally, totally in agreement with how great those milkweed smell. There was an old flowerbed on my farm that someone else made that was filled with roses and peonies. Since I much prefer milkweed and Queen Anne's Lace to both of these, I have let them take over! Makes the butterflies happier and me too! The only thing that smells better, flower wise, to me are the locust tree flowers. They are something else.

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  5. I think your milkweed plan is just the ticket! They are indeed amazing creatures are they not and you captured some lovely images of the remains of this one.

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  6. Awww. Poor little guy. He must not have inherited the "fly home to Mexico" gene. It will be interesting to see if you attract some Monarch's with your Milkweed patch next year.

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  7. I see them in my yard ( I live in drought-dry California) It is sad to see this one, but I love that he was cupped in your glove and that you and many others care. There is some "right" in this crazy world. They are amazing creatures of flight.

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  8. Kris, your header is phenomenal!

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