Sunday, September 25, 2016

I've been up to my eyeballs in monarchs!

...which explains why I haven't been blogging as frequently as I have been in the past. I also discovered a Facebook Group specializing in monarchs (The Beautiful Monarch) Wherein I learned a truckload of things about ensuring the survival of monarchs in the wild by rearing them in captivity. There are a lot of insect predators out there, from spiders to parasitic flies to parasitic wasps, and just plain ole wasps) that diminish monarch populations to the point where scientists say that, in the wild, monarch survival is put at 5%.

For the near decade that I've been observing these beauties come and go through the yard (Monarch Larvae Monitoring Project site 2519) I still didn't have a clue as to how many are actually out there and how many perish from predation AND the City's ordinance on mowing, and by the City's own mowers.

What's important about the Facebook Group is that I'm not the only person up against the Code on yard maintenance and we give each other tips and advice on that, and I'm thinking we should get organized in that regard. I was pretty much celebrated for making the statement that I show up at each and every City Commission meeting. Not only do I enjoy local support for doing so, for other matters, but I enjoy the backing of monarch enthusiasts elsewhere, so...the work continues.

And yes, the photos have accumulated although I've already posted a good number of them in my Google Plus Collection, "Back Yard Zoo"...fact remains I'm very much behind on posting them on Blogger on the main page as well as on my 2016 Monarchs page of this blog.  As the work load of shepherding more monarchs than I ever imagined here to adulthood and subsequent migration draws down as frost approaches, you can bet I'll be posting that backlog of pictures as time permits.  Right now, the monarchs come first.

This is a case where I used a wing tag to repair a tear.
The pupae box.

Freshly hatched 1st instar baby on Honeyvine leaf. When people think of milkweed, it's not the Honeyvine they usually think of first.