"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

Hello Friends!

Friends, Romans, countrymen...y'all. Foodies, gardeners, artists and collectors - let's gather together to share and possibly learn a thing or two in the mix.

Donna Baker

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Saving The Monarch


I planted milkweed this spring for the Monarch butterflies, to see if it would work as fuel for their long flight to the mountains in Mexico. Sure enough, they've been lined up this week, waiting their turn to get whatever it is they get from the plant.

I have seen them flying south before a cold front at the farm.  Legions of Monarchs from high specks in the sky to ground level.  It was beautiful. 

It is hard to fathom how they know where to go, especially since they weren't born in Mexico, have no weathermen to warn of an impending cold front and their return is tenuous at best as they end up on many windshields, etc.  

The winds were fierce this week and with those thin wings acting as sails, they often had to fly past the milkweed and come back to them with the wind at their backs.  I don't know how they battled those winds.

Tulsa just recently built butterfly way stations on an piece of land.  Patches of wildflowers and milkweed to rest and feast upon before their long flight home. Deforestation and environmental practices have depleted their numbers.  I'm going to plant more milkweed next year.  

32 comments:

  1. What a super idea Donna - and I am so pleased that it is working. You must be so pleased.

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  2. It is so interesting to hear from someone farther along the journey. I am most used to looking at milkweed to see if there is a caterpillar or chrysalis to watch. When my kids were little, we set up a shoe box with a "window" so they could see the caterpillar turn into a chrysalis, then emerge as a butterly. Of course, it was then released. Magical. -Jenn

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  3. Well done you. We need to help wild creatures as much as we can as life is difficult enough for them as it is. The butterflies have now disappeared from around here, I often wonder where they go when they leave. It is starting to get very chilly in the evenings now, so I expect they are holed up somewhere.

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    1. Yes, I noticed many different species of butterflies that day feeding on the flowers. A cold front came through that night. I'm going to see if any are left today.

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    1. Thanks Monique. It sure is hard to get one to pose especially with the wind blowing so.

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  5. This is just FABULOUS !

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Thank you Parsnip. I remember seeing a picture of butterflies in arid locations and they drank turtles tears.

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  6. Wonderful photo. I brought all my butterfly/bee/hummer flowers over and transplanted planted them in July. I think all "took", but the milkweed went like a house afire, and I've had monarchs on them.

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    1. You and your thumb. Mine didn't spread like I wanted but more to make up for it next year. Full sun?

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  7. How lovely. Thank you. And I really, really like the idea of butterfly way stations too.
    Our world would be diminished without them.

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    1. I think you are right Child. Such small beauty. I'm going to plant a lot more next year.

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  8. This is a great idea and I need to follow suit.

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    1. I thought it was neat that Tulsa made the way stations for the Monarch. We can't save the world, but do what we can.

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  9. Yippie for you & for the Monarchs! When I was a kid, I recall them coming through my coastal town, en route to Mexico, I presume. I can't recall what plant(s) they fueled up on for the continued journey. I always did love to see them during their yearly visit, that's for sure.

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    1. They are still around Bea. I've watched them daily even though it has gotten cooler. I will watch that plant to see signs of cocoons, etc.

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  10. Beautiful!!! We used to see so many monarchs where I grew up ... I need to find a place for some milk thistle!

    Thanks for your lovely, sweet comment. I had to set a date for my show to get painting. I need deadlines. Signing up and taking a class helps, as well, for me. I was painting after I got home from work at 7pm and painting some nights until 3:30 am! I go in fits and starts though. Gold leafing is really fun, if a little messy, at times. Just make sure to turn the fans off! ;)

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    1. Ha. So glad to hear from you Lucinda. I agree about the deadline thing to get going. My hat's off to you. Congrats.

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  11. You have left for me just the nicest comment on my last post. It gives me such a lift! I am so impressed that you thought of me when you saw some lovely linen. A very high compliment. Thank you! Your butterfly photo is just beautiful. And I so admire your garden life. We have a butterfly exhibit at the nature center that we visit with our grandchildren as often as possible. But your butterflies are so lucky to have you! Thanks for making my day!

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    1. Glad to do it Jacqueline. It was in perfect condition and I remembered about our talk on buying lace things.

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  12. Dear Donna - what a gorgeous photo. I was not aware that the Monarch's enjoy the butterfly weed specifically. We do have some that grows wild in some places in our area. So glad to see you stayed out of harm's way with Hurricane Matthew. I was thinking of you and praying you were safe. No the photo is from my back field many hundreds of miles from the South. Thought it looked appropriate though. Thanks for stopping to visit me. Have a beautiful day. Hugs!

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    1. You too Deb. Yes, this milkweed is a wild plant I was told at the nursery. It sure does work. Hugs to you too.

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  13. Good for you, for helping out these beautiful creatures.
    Wouldn't it be great to have a built in GPS like they do?:)

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    1. Yes, because I still can't figure out the directions at my city house. It does not sit on the lot facing directions I thought it did. What I thought was east, my car says is south southeast? What I thought was north, isn't. I have lost my compass in my head. isn't it a wonder that butterflies can find their way to their ancestral home?

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  14. I've been planting milkweed and it has been spreading. also planting other bee and butterfly friendly plants for food or reproduction. I've seen a lot more butterflies in my yard this year.

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    1. I'm definitely planting more next year. I've seen two big caterpillars in the last days and many butterflies.

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  15. Legions of Monarchs...that would be an amazing sight.
    Kudos to you and to the builders of the butterfly stations.

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    1. Yes, and I've never seen such a migration like that again.

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  16. Oh my... I LOVE knowing this! I'm going to have to plant some now. Have you ever heard Wayne Dyer's story about the Monarch butterfly?

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    1. No I never have heard the story. It is such a miracle though.

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