Sunday, August 9, 2015

August 9th Update...Monarch Watch Update too

I hope you are making it through our dry spell.
I know my grass is suffering but….who cares?
My garden is flourishing. ;)

Monarch Watch/ Dr. Chip Taylor has updated the Monarch Watch Blog about the summer monarch populations.
All reports seem like these past weeks have been an egg laying fest all over the summer breeding grounds.
I have included the text below for your convenience.
There is also info below on how to purchase monarch tags.
If you want to tag your butterflies (hopefully your tagged butterfly will be found in Mexico!)
Order your tags soon, Monarch watch only sells 100,000 per season.

It is not too late to register your garden as a Monarch Waystation!

There are members of our group that have just found their first eggs and cats. in the last week.
I am happy to share that my sis Bridget and hubby Bill found eggs and cats last weekend in Naperville!
This after planting for a couple of years for the butterflies J

Keep looking, the eggs that are being laid now until the end of the season are the Migration Generation,
this is the most critical time for egg collection.
Last night I had a delightful dinner with Lee and Barb & my Dad, we were checking their 5 foot tall (yes, that is what I said 5 foot!!) Swamp Milkweed!
I started looking at the flower buds and boom. 17 more eggs. Look for eggs on tight buds, colored up but not open yet.

As for my experiences this season, I was bringing home lots of eggs and cats. from work and finding 30-50 a day at home. In the last 10 days there has been a lull.
Very few new eggs and cats, Yesterday the eggs started appearing again.
I have released 199 butterflies with about 100 chrysalis’ in the cat. house and still many more eggs coming up.
I am happy to say that I have had very little in the way of cat. deaths and only one Tachnid fly ruined a chrysalis so far.
This is usually due to bringing in large 3-5th instar cats. Just another reason why collecting eggs is important.
I may have a few more of these losses but nothing compared to years past.
Collection is up to 1296, releases 199. However I do not have 1000 cats. in play. There is a certain degree of cannibalism that is hard to avoid.
Other insects… The MW Bugs eggs are starting to hatch, you will see many little red insects with black legs appearing on your seed pods.
If you want to save that seed to share with others and plant yourself (or toss out your car window under the cover  of night…)
you will have to squish these insects. They eat seed pods and seeds.

I saw more than a few swamp mw bugs on that lg swamp last night. They will eat eggs and cats.
Is there anyone out there who has not seen any monarchs or collected cats. yet?
Well that is all for now, If you would like to see pictures that go with this email, refer to my blog.

Have a great day!!

Dolly Foster
Horticulturist, Certified Arborist
Twitter: @Hort4u

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