The Monarch Is Here

~Any follower knows by now that we love butterflies and have landscaped our gardens to attract birds and butterflies. I specifically planted two Milkweed plants to attract Monarch butterflies. I really like the bright orange-and-yellow flowers on the plant and the seeds are wonderful, they are dispersed in the wind as are dandelion seeds.

Milkweed - not flowering yet

Milkweed – not flowering yet

While watering yesterday, a Monarch paid a visit to the garden. Fluttering around, I could almost feel the breeze of it’s wings as it flew quite near my right shoulder. I had camera in hand but held still while it flew around me. It finally picked a lantana’s nectar as a likely candidate for a snack.

Friendly Monarch "eating" a snack.

Friendly Monarch “eating” a snack.

When I went out to water the potted plants this morning, this is how I found one of the Milkweeds. They ate almost everything.

7 Monarch caterpillars stripped the Milkweed plant.

7 Monarch caterpillars stripped the Milkweed plant.

The caterpillars are really quite beautiful, but my question is: The Milkweed is not blooming, how the heck can they tell what it is? By smell? Recognizing the leaves? How?

I used my Canon Rebel XSi for the top two shots and Hubs Canon 5D-MK3 for the caterpillars.


4 thoughts on “The Monarch Is Here

  1. We love butterflies too, so do the many praying mantises that frequent our garden. We have a few praying mantises that hang out on our porch, which is convenient (for them) since there’s bee balm and a rose bush right there.

    Earlier this week, I cut our rose bushes back. They had some type of fungus, after I bagged up the offending limbs, I heavily sprayed the bushes with my neem mixture. Neem has meany amazing benefits such as being anti-fungal and anti-bacterial.

    About eight years ago, I used a similar neem mixture on our grape vinee that was plagued with fungus. It would produce grapes but they were rotten as soon as they appeared. Thanks to my neem blend, that wiped out the fungus and the following year we had our grapes!


    • Q – Do the praying mantises like Monarchs? I know birds don’t because they taste “bitter”.
      Your Neem mixture is on my list of “to make” if we run into problems.


      • Oh they do, I’ve taken pictures of mantis dining on the butterflies. Another favorite spot, for mantis, at least in our yard are the butterfly bushes. Butterflies love that bush and so do the mantis. For them, it’s a great place to set up camp and attack unsuspecting prey.

        I don’t get upset since I know they have to eat to live also.


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