Friday, July 24, 2015

WELCOME TO CREATE A WILDLIFE-FRIENDLY YARD!


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     We encourage people to help the Monarch butterfly by creating special wildlife-friendly spaces in their yards and at their places of business. When you help out the Monarch butterfly you not only increase biodiversity and benefit hundreds of other species of flora and fauna in your yard and business, but you also provide yourself a summertime of entertainment. Got comments or ideas for us? We'd enjoy hearing from  you- Contact Us

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MONARCH BUTTERFLY NOTES- FRIDAY 7/24/2015

Friday July 24, 2015: Please sign the "Stop Roadside Mowing of Monarch Food Supply" petition. It's not even noon yet and things are hopping at Waystation # 613 in NW Ohio! a male Monarch emerged and I released him onto the tree lawn Cone Flowers. He is healthy as can be and flexed his wings in the gentle wind, letting them dry off completely. He is release #4 and I took this photo of him:


Male Monarch #4 released onto Purple Coneflower
  Shortly thereafter, I checked my backyard Common Milkweed patch and collected 18 eggs...all were laid since yesterday afternoon. More Monarch butterflies are visiting my yard, drawn by the scent of the milkweed plants. Here is a photo of the backyard waystation - there are roughly 30 Common Milkweed plants in it:


Backyard Common Milkweeds attract Monarch females.

     I checked the plastic containers and noticed many of the 70+ cream-colored Monarch eggs have turned pale grey with a black spot on the top. They will be hatching shortly. I will have many mouths to feed, so will collect milkweed leaves, wash them off (for OE virus), then store them in zip-lock bags in the refrigerator (They last forever when you do that).   
~

Cumulative log 7/24/2015:
Total Monarch eggs collected- 78
Total Monarch caterpillars collected- 1
Monarchs released- 4 (3 males, 1 female)
 

Make a Difference! Please sign this petition. Thank you!

 
Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is dedicated to saving the Monarch butterfly. If you have any comments or pro-Monarch info to share, please contact him on the Secure Contact Form and, if you like, he will publish it on this blog. He enjoys hearing from fellow Monarch lovers!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

MONARCH BUTTERFLY NEWS UPDATE! 7/24/2015

**Gardeners And Property Owners Urged To Plant Milkweed To Save Monarch Butterflies

**In the Frogtown neighborhood of St. Paul, Patricia Ohmans and Paul Nelson noticed that an empty lot might be just the place to cultivate a new monarch butterfly community.

**What is happening to the cherished Monarch Butterfly? Pesticides Have Killed 90 Percent of the Monarch Butterfly Population in 20 Years. Take Action Now!

**Help save the Monarch butterfly...plant milkweed! North American monarch butterflies are in trouble. Threats, including loss of milkweed habitat needed to lay their eggs and for their caterpillars to eat, are having a devastating impact on their populations and the migration phenomenon.

**Professor says more milkweed habitats needed for monarch butterflies. One of the most widely recognized butterflies in North America, the monarch, is disappearing fast. Most of that decline is blamed on changing land use, but property owners can help shore up the population by setting aside monarch "way stations" filled with milkweed and other nectar-rich plants.

Make a Difference! Please sign this petition. Thank you!

 
Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is dedicated to saving the Monarch butterfly. If you have any comments or pro-Monarch info to share, please contact him on the Secure Contact Form and he will publish it on this blog.

MONARCH BUTTERFLY NOTES- 7/23/2015

Female Monarch butterfly laying eggs on Butterfly Milkweed
at Wolf Creek Park.
     Thursday July 23, 2015: Hiked around Wolf Creek Park, just south of Fremont, Ohio at noon today. I was elated by the several Monarch females laying eggs amongst the Butterfly Milkweed plants. They are plentiful in the meadow at the entrance to the park. I took photos and videos of the female Monarchs moving from one flower cluster to another on the Butterfly Milkweeds, then seemed to take a break and fed on nearby Wild Bergamot flowers. Then, back to the serious business of laying dozens of eggs and perpetuating the species!
Female Monarch laying eggs at Wolf
Creek Park
     It was fun and uplifting to see them at work...they're back! Before leaving, I collected eggs off milkweed plants that were along the park path and probably would be mowed.
     On the way home, I drove slowly along several county roads that were nearby to Wolf Creek Park and checked several patches of Common Milkweed that were just off the pavement and soon would be mowed. In total, I collected 14 Monarch eggs on my "Monarch Jaunt."
   
A Tiger Swallowtail fed on the Wild Bergamot
at Wolf Creek Park

  Upon arriving home, I checked the side yard Common and Swamp Milkweed plants and collected 17 eggs! That makes 31 eggs collected in total for today alone. After rarely seeing a Monarch butterfly and finding zero eggs on the dozens of milkweed plants so far this summer, today was quite uplifting, indeed! I have 3 plastic aquariums filled with milkweed leaves
with Monarch butterfly eggs attached.
     Later on that afternoon, I checked the side yard milkweeds again and found 4 more eggs...that's 35 eggs in total for today.
The female Monarchs and Tiger Swallowtail fed
voraciously on the Wild Bergamot at Wolf
Creek Park
     Interestingly, I've only collected one tiny caterpillar so far. Seeing few eggs or tiny newly-hatched Monarch caterpillars until now leads me to believe that, on only the past several days, the real egg-laying summertime event has finally arrived here in Fremont, in NW Ohio. 

 
Another female Monarch busy egg-laying at Wolf
Creek  Park
 
Cumulative log 7/23/2015:
Total Monarch eggs collected- 61
Total Monarch caterpillars collected- 1
Monarchs released- 3, 2 males  1 female
 

Make a Difference! Please sign this petition. Thank you!

 
Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is dedicated to saving the Monarch butterfly. If you have any comments or pro-Monarch info to share, please contact him on the Secure Contact Form and he will publish it on this blog.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

MONARCH BUTTERFLY LOG JULY 22, 2015

July 22, 2015 Wednesday: I walked along the fence at Loew's in Fremont and checked the line of milkweed plants that were unmowed due to their proximity to the fence. Saw a half dozen Monarchs flying among them. Collected 19 eggs and 1 caterpillar 1/8" long. This is the first time I've seen that many Monarchs laying eggs. Later on that day, a male Monarch emerged from a chrysalis. Released it in front Purple Coneflower bed.

Cumulative log:
Total Eggs collected- 25
Total Caterpillars collected- 1
Monarchs released- 2, 1 male  1 female

July 21, 2015 Tuesday: I collected 6 Monarch eggs off the Common milkweed in my backyard waystation. I saw my second Monarch butterfly flying in the patch, but was probably one of two Monarchs I released several days earlier.

July 18, 2015: Two crysalis' opened into 1 male and 1 female Monarch butterfly. They were healthy and released into the Purple Coneflowers in my tree lawn.

Monday, March 16, 2015

WATERFOWL RETURNING TO NW OHIO!


Sunday, March 15, 2015
     Hiked the Eagle Point Nature Preserve in Erie County. Its 88 acres of marshland connects to the East Sandusky Bay and is part of the NW portion of 1,200 acres along Lake Erie's coastline known as the East Sandusky Bay MetroPark. A naturalist from the Erie MetroParks, Cheryl Kilmer, took the small group to an observation deck where we could look out into the East Sandusky Bay. The duck, geese and swans are making their way to their northern breeding grounds. On the way home, I stopped at Castalia Pond in Castalia, Ohio and at the Lighthouse Pier bird walk site in Huron, Ohio. Below is a Watch List of the birds seen today, along with a video I made of today's sitings. How many in the list can you identify on the video?

Watch List
  1. Bald Eagle
  2. Trumpeter swans (10)
  3. Tundra swans
  4. Canada geese
  5. Am. Black Ducks- only a few
  6. Mallards
  7. Northern Shovelers
  8. Northern Pintail
  9. Canvasbacks- abundant
  10. Redheads- abundant
  11. Lesser Scaup- abundant
  12. Buffleheads
  13. Barrow's Goldeneye
  14. Hooded Merganser
  15. Common Merganser
  16. Green-winged Teal
  17. Great-blue Heron
  18. American Robin
  19. American Coot
  20. Black-backed Gull
  21. Herring Gull
  22. Ring-billed Gull
  23. Red-winged Blackbird
      On the way home, I spotted a Green-winged Teal in a flooded field off Rt. 250 south of Sandusky. Unfortunately, it is not in the video. The close-up photos I took of the Tundra and Trumpeter swans will help you identify which is which! This Sibley guide site will help you distinguish between them. How many birds on the list can you identify in this video?
 



Video of Watch List
 
Create A Wildlife-Friendly Yard (CWFY) is dedicated to saving the Monarch Butterfly, one yard at a time! We enjoy hearing from you! Press HERE to contact us.


Friday, March 6, 2015

ENDANGERED MONARCH BUTTERFLY AS AMERICAN AS APPLE PIE!

Received a neat letter from the Center for Biological Diversity. They emphasize that Monarch butterflies are as American as apple pie, having once been found in backyards across the country. Generations of schoolchildren have reared monarchs in classrooms, watching in wonder as striped caterpillars transform into large orange-and-black adult butterflies. The monarch’s multigenerational migration is legendary — a journey of more than 2,000 miles from Mexico to Canada, undertaken by animals weighing less than a single gram. The monarch plays a unique and prominent role in the imagination of our country, especially considering it’s an insect. These creatures are ambassadors of nature in people’s gardens and symbols of summertime outdoors.



Yet these butterflies, once a familiar sight, are plummeting toward extinction due to landscape-scale threats from pesticides, development and global climate change. In their overwintering groves there were once so many monarchs that the sound of their wings was described as a rippling stream or a summer rain. Early newspaper descriptions described branches breaking under the weight of so many butterflies and depicted the masses of butterflies as “the personification of happiness.” But over the past 20 years monarchs have declined by more than 90 percent — if all monarchs from the population high in the mid-1990s were grouped onto football fields, the area they cover has been reduced from 39 fields to an area barely larger than one field.

The heart of the monarch’s range is the midwestern “Corn Belt,” where most of the world’s monarchs are born on milkweed plants growing in agricultural fields. Because of the ubiquitous spraying of Roundup on corn and soy that have been genetically modified to resist herbicides, the monarch is in bad trouble in the core of its range, where its sole host plant, milkweed, is disappearing. In a one-two punch, climate change is undermining the stable weather conditions and predictable flowering seasons that monarchs need to complete their migration. Climate change also threatens these butterflies’ overwintering habitat in the mountain forests of Mexico. Just as Joshua Tree National Park will soon no longer support Joshua trees, the International Monarch Reserve in Mexico is expected to become climatically unsuitable for monarchs by the end of the century.
Because of all this and more, the Center petitioned to protect monarchs under the Endangered Species Act in August 2014. In December, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service declared the species may warrant protection.

Monarchs’ decline is a harbinger of widespread environmental change. The plummeting population of this familiar butterfly, along with the decline of many other butterflies and bees, threatens the wellbeing of people as well, because the food security of humans is dependent on the ecological services that pollinators provide.  History shows a tragic record of the unexpected decline of abundant and widespread species. Complacency and false-positive assumptions about the resiliency of once-common species can have tragic consequences when timely action is not undertaken to safeguard their populations. The migration of the monarch butterfly is at risk of being lost unless humans take rapid action to protect it.

Create A Wildlife-Friendly Yard (CWFY) is dedicated to saving the Monarch Butterfly. We want to hear from you! Press HERE to contact us.