I had 67 Chrysalis a few days ago. 7 Monarchs emerged on the 8th and 5 emerged on the 9th. Debbie had 3 that had emerged and we decided to take them to Lucas Nursery where they have a “Butterfly Encounter”. I would have preferred to release in the yard, but freezing temperatures were expected.
Jim built this for me so I could wheel the plants into the shed at night. I had milkweed seedlings in small pots and after the freeze I added a few flowering plants to the collection. I also have a wheel barrow full.
There are at least 12 in large pots that I bring into the screen room when it’s going to be in the 30’s. I definitely get my exercise carrying things in and out. Maybe next year we’ll build a small greenhouse that can be opened for the bees and butterflies. The tall structure is a trellis built over a tub with honeysuckle. I enclosed it with plastic on 3 sides and top…put several of the flowering plants on shelves in it and that’s where I put the newly released Monarchs. They can have something to eat…if they want…and leave whenever they are ready. It gives them a nice warm spot out of the wind to make up their minds.
This male was enjoying the sun on a Buddleia plant and the Gulf Fritillary was determined to have the same spot. He’s the big blur.
The Monarch refused to leave and the Fritillary finally decided to settle for a spot nearby. Look how fast his wings go.
I released 2 more this afternoon and by 4 pm there were 9 more. It is supposed to rain tomorrow…. but if it’s not too cold I will release them. Otherwise I will have to teach them how to eat. This is the first one that emerged a few days ago. He had just had a meal of honey and water.
Here it is on a Marigold. Isn’t it beautiful?