Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Nature Notes: Monarch

So I've been spending the last three weeks in the US, driving around Utah, Colorado, Arizona and Nevada. I'm currently sorting through the 2000+ photos I took, but I already have picked some out that I think are just right for Nature Notes.

I came across this (to me) strange plant at the orchards of Fruita, Utah in the Capitol Reef National Park. I wondered about it, it grew everywhere in the orchards and horse pastures, but I couldn't place it.

Then I saw my first monarch butterfly ever and I knew it was milkweed - thanks to Rambling Woods, where Michelle has written about Monarchs and their close relation to milkweed many times - it's the only foodsource of their caterpillars.

Many people don't want milkweed in their garden, but I think it's a beautiful plant with gorgeous flowers. Not only monarchs feed on them, but also other insects like this carpenter bee:

If you have a garden and live in the US or anywhere else where Monarchs live, then why not leave a spot for milkweed to grow (or to just go wild on its own)? You'll be rewarded with butterflies and lots of other wildlife.

Monarch Watch is a great place to go for more information on Monarch butterflies.

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