Thursday, June 8, 2017

Flights of Fancy...

In my ongoing efforts to learn more about butterflies and enhance both my Monarch Waystation located at Nest and my home butterfly garden, I attended an interesting Butterfly Gardening talk given by our local Master Gardeners early this week.  The wind was kicking up, skies darkening, another summer storm was rolling through - I thought, for sure, I'd be the only one.  But to my delight, a lot of people attended, from all walks of life.  Listening to the questions asked, many on what to plant, but several on the act of raising butterflies, I began to think maybe this is a topic I need to focus more on at Nest.

We started our Monarch Waystation late last year; it was quickly discovered by Monarchs (you can watch our first release here).  And I've continued raising all sorts of butterflies since; earlier this year, we raised a number of Giant Swallowtails and currently I am raising several Black Swallowtails
I still consider myself a novice, but I really want to share what I've learned so far.  All butterflies need our help, the more we over develop and the less we plant native and diverse plants, we will continue to chip away at their evolutionary fiber.  So, I'm kicking around something for the fall; something to blend gardening info specific to butterflies and information on how to raise them, including monarchs.  Let me know if you are in?!

For now, I want to leave you with a few great resources that I found super helpful:

  • A super informative presentation on raising Monarchs here
  • Mr Lund Science on You Tube: a lot of excellent Monarch raising videos here and good tips on growing milkweed
  • A very cool article and video about how one man basically saved a species of butterflies in his backyard
  • A butterfly gardening guide by LSUAG on specifically creating butterfly gardens in Louisiana
  • Journey North - lots of info and citizen science traceable info
  • Get certified: create your own Monarch Waystation
And, I'm excited to tell you, I will be returning to the Pollination Celebration as a vendor September 16th.  I'll have favorites from our garden department plus a few new specials!

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