We are so grateful to each and every one of you! Thanks to you, we are one step closer to our goal of Rescuing, Raising, and Releasing monarchs, and encouraging others to do the same!
About 3:00pm on June 8th, I stopped to water one last area of our yard before calling it a day. Good decision! As I bent down to pick up the hose, a female monarch fluttered in front of me. I immediately followed her as she circled our home. She checked out our Monarch Waystation, but ended up at our "lilac hedge," which had two lilacs blooming.
But she wasn't there for the lilacs. Surrounding them, we had planted 5 common milkweed plants two years ago, which had now overtaken the area with at least twenty 2-3 foot high new shoots. Over the next 3-4 hours, she laid about 80 eggs, laying as many as four eggs on a single leaf. We were THRILLED! I collected them all and brought them inside to "Raise and Release." Leo took as many photos as she would hold still for.
However, talk about a speed course in raising baby monarchs! I don't know if I should be happy or sad as only thirty-eight of the eggs hatched June 14th. What I DO know is that none of them would have survived had we not taken them in. Between the spiders, ants, and abundant birds in the area (we have at least 6 active nests on the property,) they would not have lasted long.
The larvae are eating and pooping well in their individual containers. I've cleaned out the "frass" (poop - it looks like black pepper,) misted their containers with fresh water, as well as given them each a small piece of a fresh milkweed daily.
As of today, three had molted and I can see their tiny black "horns."
And all this was possible because of YOU!!!
Thank you! Thank You! Thank You! Leo sends his love and thanks, too!
More later! It's 4:00am and this "new mother" needs to get to sleep!
With heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you,
Dorothy & Leo