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.