A Monarch’s Gift

Female Monarch Butterfly

A female Monarch butterfly laying eggs on its host plant, the Milkweed.

Butterflies are amazing! The sooner the weather warms they become very active mating and spreading their off-springs throughout the wild and into welcoming gardens. I love sitting under the shade of my patio umbrella with a freshly brewed cup of coffee. The chirping of birds and cooing of mourning doves add the perfect sound into the morning breeze (muffling the sound of traffic on the other side of the fence).

Suddenly, I see a small fluttering shadow passing over the umbrella. I wonder if it was a butterfly. Sure enough! There comes a Monarch butterfly … a female. She scans my garden looking for her favorite plant, the Milkweed (Asclepias Curassavica). And she finds it!

The above image shows the Monarch laying her eggs. They lay single eggs throughout the plant and can be found on the seed pods or under the leaves. As I took the photo, I was happy to see that a caterpillar (to the right of the image) is resting under a leave preparing for growth and on its way to transformation.

I am hooked on Monarchs and learning every day about their amazing life cycle and migration. If you want to learn more about these wonderful creatures, check out the Monarch Watch site. They have plenty of information for beginners as well as experienced Monarch watchers. You will find educational articles, research, blog, resources, and photos.

I look forward to photo-capturing many other butterflies this spring and summer. Iced tea anyone?

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