Tuesday, August 25, 2015

MONARCH BUTTERFLIES UPDATE FROM NW OHIO.

Little Portage WA sloughs connect main marshes

     Yesterday (Monday, August 24) was a balmy day here in NW Ohio and some Monarchs were migrating while others were still laying eggs...go figure. I drove to Little Portage Wildlife Area just north of Fremont and collected eggs, tiny hatchlings and several very large Monarch caterpillars about to form a "J" off a single milkweed plant! The plant was in the middle of a mowed path that meanders through Little Portage, so I took them all home before the plow comes along.
 
Swamp milkweed abounds along the sloughs at
Little Portage WA. Female Monarchs frequent them.



     While trekking through the area, three Monarch butterflies flew by and I got some nice photos of them. The wetlands through Little Portage were full of Wood ducks and Great Blue herons. A series of narrow sloughs connect the main marshes, making the walks along them interesting, especially if you enjoy watching dragonflies. Swamp milkweed abounds along these sloughs and they are frequented by female Monarchs during the breeding season.
 
Large caterpillars and eggs were found on same milkweed
plants lining the sloughs at Little Portage WA
     Back home, I released a female Monarch onto a pot of Black-eyed Susan I keep on the front porch. She was the 112th Monarch I released this year, and I still have 89 chrysalises lining the tops of my plastic aquarium cages that have not yet to eclose. Did I mention the 30+ caterpillars that have yet to form chrysalises, the 10 un-hatched eggs? If they all develop properly, it is projected that 241 Monarch butterflies will be raised and released from my Monarch Waystation No. 163, up from 115 last year.
 
I hope to raise and release 241 Monarch butterflies
from  my suburban yard Monarch Waystation No. 163
     Out of the releases thus far, 56 were males, 50 were females and 3 are unknown sex because they flew away before I could check. I hope there is a high turnout in Mexico this fall, we shall see!

 

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. enjoys his wildlife-friendly suburban yard and is devoted to saving the Monarch butterfly. Contact him on the Secure Contact Form.

Friday, August 7, 2015

CREATE A WILDLIFE-FRIENDLY YARD!


ABOUT US
     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

HOW TO USE THIS SITE
Find your article of interest in 2 quick ways:
(1) In the right margin, go to "ARTICLE ARCHIVES"
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MONARCH BUTTERFLIES NEED TO BE TAGGED!

Monarch butterfly with tag
 
     You can get a "Monarch Watch Tagging Kit". I just got this email from Monarch Watch. They need to keep tagging monarchs as a way of monitoring their numbers and tracking any shifts in the origins of monarchs that reach Mexico. If you are a long-term tagger, you know it has been increasingly difficult to find enough monarchs to tag, especially during the last two years. The totals tagged each year roughly parallel the numbers recorded in Mexico each winter, giving Monarch Watch an independent assessment of the numbers in the migration. Regional tagging success also helps in that it demonstrates how monarchs respond to the physical conditions and quality of the habitats in these areas.
     Thus, tagging is an important tool to help understand the overall dynamics of the monarch population. Tags for the 2015 fall tagging season are now available from Monarch Watch. If you would like to tag monarchs this year, please order your tags ASAP! Monarch Watch Tagging Kits are only shipped to areas east of the Rocky Mountains. As usual, each tagging kit includes a set of specially manufactured monarch butterfly tags (you specify quantity), a datasheet, tagging instructions, and additional monarch / migration information.
     Tagging Kits for the 2015 season start at only $15 and include your choice of 25, 50, 100, 200, 300, or 500 tags. Monarch Watch Tagging Kits and other materials are available via the Monarch Watch Shop online at http://shop.monarchwatch.org - where each purchase helps support Monarch Watch. 2015 datasheets and instructions are also available online at http://monarchwatch.org/tag

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!

Friday, July 24, 2015

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.