Monday, June 25, 2012

The Magic Monarch

We have spent a lot of time this summer learning about Monach butterflys.  It all started with my mother getting a milkweed plant.  Then we went over to her house and watched the caterpillers eat every leaf on the plant.  Some ran out of leafs before they were fat enough to cooon.  This made my mom sad, so she went out and bought another milkweek plant.

(coocoon in red)
My mother set up an aquairum in her house and she brings the caterpillers in when they are ready to spin their coocons & then the boys set them free.

 Just hatched & drying his wings

 Eli setting him free

 Proud boys

The beautiful Monarch butterfly

  After watching them a while you can predect when they are ready to spin.  So after several phone calls about the poor caterpillars and how they were running out of food, I asked her to buy me some seeds.

 I used milk jugs as my pots and poked holes at the bottom

 The boys helped me fill each container with potting soil

 Opie is always there to give a helping paw

Then we waited until they got bigger.

Here is the problem with Milkweed & Monarchs.  Milkweed is all a Monarch catepiller will eat.  So a Monarch butterfly lays eggs on a plant, the eggs hatch and each caterpiller needs 20 leafs to make it to maturity and cocoon.  Well, you run out of leafs before that happens.  Thus creating my mothers problem of feeling like she needs a never ending supply of milk week.

But it is a fun cycle to watch and learn about
This book gives you tons of information & is a good read for learning about the life cycle of the monarch

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