We took one of our favorite loops around Kendell County after work today when we pulled over for a break and we started checking out the Milk weed plants for signs of Monarch butterfly's , sure enough we found caterpillars and one lady that was kind enough to let me get a close up
A little farther down the road and take by Mrs bluej
That is awesome! My girlfriend has been hatching monarchs for a few years now. We planted milkweed in the garden and actually had a wild caterpillar show up this year. It is probably ready to come out of chrysalis in a day or so. We also have a bunch of baby cats in little cups right now ready to get some milkweed.
loudhvx wrote: That is awesome! My girlfriend has been hatching monarchs for a few years now. We planted milkweed in the garden and actually had a wild caterpillar show up this year. It is probably ready to come out of chrysalis in a day or so. We also have a bunch of baby cats in little cups right now ready to get some milkweed.
Very cool...I have met a number of folks into butterfly ranching.
Yeah, it's surprising how attached you get to a bug when you raise them from an 1/8" spec.
Unfortunately, their numbers are indeed far fewer than just a few years ago. Herbicide (they are completely dependent on milkweed) and insecticide are some of the suspected causes, along with the loss of their winter habitat in Mexico. For those who don't know, monarchs migrate from Canada to Mexico (and few to coastal California), then the same ones migrate back up into North America. It's offspring, for 3 generations, migrate further north, but then the next generation makes the big migration south. The bulk of that generation stays in small forested areas in Mexico. Those forests are disappearing. As they do, there is nowhere for monarchs to winter.
One the bright side, their numbers this year are a little higher than last year.
While out riding yesterday I was paying a lot of attention to the Milk weed and it seems like a lot of framers and road crews are trying to avoid mowing down it down and are going around it or leaving areas uncut all together.
I hope Mexico is able to preserve enough forest to make a difference.
When the kids were young we had considered doing a butterfly tent but never did.
One year I did hang a couple Praying Mantis egg sacks up and we had them everywhere, they are the strangest bug I have ever seen fly,
We used them as a natural pest controller but the problem is they eat everything including each other so when we started raising Bees we decided not to do them, now the Bees are gone and I have no time or ambition to set up a new hive maybe we will do them again.
The pests are really bad out here at times and we don't use pesticides .
Jack, we are on the same page. We hatched 4 mantis egg clusters this year. For some reason, the last couple years, the garden has been full of house flies. The mantises are good a getting them, but they occasionally get a bee too (the bees are slower and easier to catch). But it is really intersting watching a mantis eat a fly with one arm like it's eating an apple. They are strange. They really seem to engage with you if you start paying attention to them. They watch what you are doing etc. No other bug seems to do that. They are an introduced species from China, but are one of the very few instances where an introduced species has not been a disaster. In the wild, they only live one season. Winter kills them, but their egg sacs survive. If you keep one as a pet, you'd be lucky to keep them for more than one summer.
Here's a few vids of the ones we had last year.
I guess if you've seen my bikes, you know I like bugs.
Was playing with the Casio EXFC100 slo mo and got some bumble bees. There seem to be two species there, but I don't know what they are called. Astonishing they can fly at all. (That's my front yard, BTW. I don't mow early in the summer to let the bees have at the flowers. They need all they can get in spring and early summer. Plus I don't like mowing or pulling dandelions. )
We have the Mantises and Walking Sticks. They don't seem afraid of us, almost friendly. We also have a what I call a jumping spider. Little guy will hop on you and check you out for bugs and such, then hop off. They're the good guys in my book.
Thanks for sharing the vids Lou, your garden looks great, I think I need to do Mantis's again next year.
We don't have a big problem with the Japanese Beetle any more for some reason , but they are still around.
My biggest problem is the Codling moth and the white ones right now and we have a higher number of locust too.
Not only are we against chemical pesticides we don't use weed killer ether, too may things depending on the Dandelions and other natural stuff.
I do kill poison ivy though