Have you heard of the Monarch Project? Karen at The Art of Doing Stuff launched it this year.
A couple of years ago, Karen posted a five-part series on how to raise a Monarch butterfly. This year she’s raising more butterflies herself and encouraging her readers to as well. Last week she posted a video of a Monarch emerging from its chrysalis. It was absolutely amazing. Seriously. Go watch it and come back. I’ll wait. It’ll make your week.
As a kid, Matt and his brothers would raise Monarchs every year. It was just something they did, catching the caterpillars, putting them in a bucket, feeding them fresh milkweed, watching them form their cocoons, watching them hatch and then releasing them.
I, however, have never seen anything like this. Karen’s video is amazing. I so want to see it in real life.
I’ve seen more Monarchs around the farm this year than I have in past years. Unfortunately, more means about two. Remember that milkweed post that I did earlier this year? It took me most of the summer to get that one single photo of the butterfly. And he was the only butterfly I saw that year.
We have milkweed everywhere on the property, and I check it often for caterpillars. So far, I haven’t found any.
A couple of weeks ago Baxter and I found a Monarch when we were out for our walk (the guy pictured in this post). Unfortunately, he seemed to have a broken wing. We carried him home and set him on some milkweed behind the barn, but I don’t think he’s going to be one of the guys that makes it to Mexico.
The Monarchs are a simple example of why I’m glad that we bought the farm. Maybe we can protect a little bit of their habitat. Maybe we can help raise the odds in their favour. Maybe we, and Karen, and the people participating in the Monarch Project can help to keep the Monarchs flying.
What’s the Monarch population like where you live? Have you ever hatched a Monarch yourself?