Sunday, February 10, 2013
Butterfly Bumper Crop
Winter 2013 has been so mild, most of the plants we moved into the new greenhouse probably could have stayed where they were. However, their tiny hitchikers have provided a reason to learn a new word - "chrysalides". It's the preferred plural form of chrysalis, and I looked it up today after finding 6 Monarch chrysalides in all their celadon and gold beaded glory in the greenhouse, along with a newly emerged adult.
Thinking it would give the (outside) butterflies an early start, I was overwintering several tropical milkweed plants in the greenhouse as well. Four are blooming and had provided a temporary nectar source, but unfortunately not enough to sustain the adult.. As the day warmed, I gently showed him the door. Another reason to be grateful for our mild winter and all of the other plants that have started blooming early.
This guy was a little easier to spot. It's on the leg of one of the plant benches.
At some point, I had hoped to learn more about how to hatch and release Monarchs, but it looks like it's going to be on the job training this year. If you have experience with this, please leave a comment.
And wish them luck!