March 05, 2014

The Monarch Butterfly Story

Submitted by Brenda H.

Roberta MacDonald treated Basin Gardeners Association members & guests to a wonderfully informative presentation on the life of the Monarch Butterfly.
From my notes and poor memory I have done a brief summary.

Myra introduces Roberta MacDonald

She told us that leaving Nova Scotia, a Monarch begins its solitary journey to Mexico coming down nightly to feed on nectar-giving plants. The "fall" generation of butterflies will live about 8 months and begin a return journey north in early spring, mating, laying eggs (200-500 per female) and then dying.

Successive generations born in the spring and summer live only about 8-10 weeks but continue their northern journey east of the Rockies.

No one Monarch makes the complete round trip but we are hopeful that some will return Nova Scotia even though it may take 4 - 5 generations to get here.

We learned that the monarch is endangered in Mexico and here due to deforestation, habitat loss & pesticide use.

Roberta encouraged us to garden pesticide free, plant for the butterflies, milkweed for the larva & colorful plants that bloom late August for the butterfly's.
For more information:

There are many web sites ... 

She also suggested a few books:
Four Wings and a Prayer by Sue Halpern
The Last Monarch Butterfly by Phil Schappert

For children:
Gotta Go Gotta Go to Mexico – scholastic books ( ask a teacher friend about this one)
Monarch Come Play with Me by Ba Rea

 PS: Don't forget the males have balls !!