So a departure from my usual blog posts,
I have always been a fan of monarch butterflies. They are just so pretty. And a few years ago, when I started hearing news reports of their numbers dwindling, I decided to do something about it. As I often say to people I am advising/ coaching, step one is to take inventory of your power. What did I have any actual power to do about the situation? Well, I have a small deck on my apartment, I live in Massachusetts on one of the many migration paths of monarchs, so I bought a big pot, I bought some potting soil, I sent away to cheapmilkweedseeds.com, and right at the start of the pandemic in 2020 I planted some milkweed seeds for them to eat as they flew by . . . and waited.
So that spring and summer a few stubby plants came up but they did not flower, so I wrote it off as a lost cause. But then, the next year, those same stubby plants spouted little buds and actually grew into full size milkweed plants.
Sadly, only one monarch made a fleeting visit and . . . nothing. The plants did flower though, and they sprouted a bunch of seed pods, the seeds scattered with the wind, and nothing . . . So I again write it all off.
So this spring I decided to plant flowers instead. But what I did not know was, a bunch of the milkweed seeds from last year had found homes in my old potting soil (which you are suppose to change every year but what did I know), and a bunch of milkweed plants sprouted up again.
But this time . . . this time . . . a female monarch deemed them worthy and laid some eggs right out on my deck. The first inkling of this came when I started to see little chew holes in the leaves.
And now . . . and now, I am the proud poppa of at least two monarch butterfly caterpillars!
WordPress has changed its interface and I am struggling mightily to learn it but hopefully I will be posting updates as things progress!
Well two days later and I have to tell you these caterpillars grow pretty darn fast. below, a pic of the one guy . . . doubled in size in 2 days. looks like only a mattter of time before he and his sibling crawl off and build a chrysalis. I hope they make it somerwhere where i can see it and watch it hatch. well . . . we’ll see.