Wednesday, July 22, 2015

July 22, Drying out....

Hello Monarch Mommas and Pappas! 
I hope this drier weather is agreeable to you all. 
It seems to be agreeable to the butterflies.
I have seen many butterflies this summer at home and at work.
Not only have I seen many monarchs but I have seen many different species of butterfly.
Red Admirals and Question marks are having a really good year.

I am hoping that most of you are finding eggs and cats. now. 
The 6 weeks of rain we have had here in the Midwest (8 inches+ in IL), really hampered the monarch egg laying. I found very few. 
When the rain stopped 2 weeks ago, collection picked up. 
I am now up to 548 eggs and cats. collected. 
Do not be daunted by my big numbers, I have minions at work (my college summer workers) :)
They are getting into this too and they do a lot of the looking while we work. 
However, there just seems to be more females laying and more gorgeous milkweed than in years past. 
I really hope you are all having successes too. 
When I first started this endeavor, I raised maybe 50 in the first year. 
If you only have the opportunity to raise 5-10, just remember they wouldn't be here if not for you.

Have you all been seeing more milkweed around the area? 
There just seems to be more on the roadsides and vacant areas. 
Could it be all the rain? 
Could it be guerrilla gardeners tossing seed bombs around? 
Have you noticed no orange aphids on your milkweed? No?
I think an unexpected benefit of the excessive rain. 
Keep an eye out, though I have seen the beginnings of them.
Simply squish those colonies as soon as you see them.
You can rinse your plant off when you are finished.
Do not use insecticidal soap on your milkweed.

If you need to see what they look like refer to my blog I will have this update with pictures there.

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