Hermann Samano (USA) nous écrit :

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So, as I mentioned earlier, we recently published a tribute to the monarch butterfly. Our focus is to get families and communities interested in helping out the Monarch butterfly by planting butterfly-friendly gardens. We also added some facts that your readers will find interesting and helpful.

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Thank you so much for your valuable time. I wish you a great day!


Hermann Samano »

A Tribute To The Monarch Butterfly: How to Turn Your Backyard Into a Butterfly Friendly Habitat

Iconic is the most appropriate word to describe the Monarch butterfly. Most of us have fond childhood memories of the unmistakable orange and black beauty flitting around the blue sky on sunny summer days. They were everywhere — and their presence was so magnificent. Their name, in Greek, means “sleepy transformation” in recognition of their ability to hibernate and metamorphize — and if you’ve ever watched it happen through a glass jar, you understand why.

If you’ve been feeling like you don’t see as many Monarch butterflies as you remember seeing 5, 10, or 20 years ago, you’re not imagining things. Loss of habitat, along with pesticides and the eradication of the Monarch butterfly’s host plant (Milkweed), has resulted in Monarch butterflies becoming endangered.

When we hear about an endangered species, it’s hard not to feel helpless and insignificant. But, unlike with many endangered species, you — yes, you! — hold real power to make a positive difference in protecting the Monarch butterfly and helping their populations thrive right in your own backyard. Here are some easy ideas to get you started. Let’s make a positive difference together!

How to attract and keep Monarchs in your butterfly garden

Helping Monarch butterflies to thrive in your garden requires some basic knowledge of their life cycle and migration paths so that you know how to support them through these two journeys they take in their lifetime. You will also need some ideas for garden layouts and plants they love.

The Monarch butterfly life cycle

• The Monarch life cycle begins when the female Monarch butterfly lays her eggs individually on separate milkweed leaves.
• A few days later, the eggs hatch into the larva stage, which gives us the Monarch caterpillar.
• The Monarch caterpillar needs to grow as much as possible in the next two weeks, so it feasts on the only thing it eats — milkweed.
• Fully fed for the next phase of its life, the caterpillar enters the pupa stage by hanging upside down from a plant stem and spinning a protective chrysalis around itself.
• A couple of weeks later, the caterpillar emerges from the chrysalis as a fully-formed, adult Monarch butterfly.
• If it isn’t time to migrate, adult butterflies immediately begin the Monarch life cycle again — that is, after they find a meal of nectar from pollinator plants nearby.
This is where you come in. So, let’s get our hands dirty and learn how to create a butterfly-friendly garden!

Plant milkweed

Grow milkweed for the Monarch butterflies and Monarch caterpillars to eat, and they will come. Plant milkweed in full sun, in groups of at least six plants, or those hungry, hungry caterpillars will run out of food. Water your plants sufficiently so they stay healthy. That is how they will produce sufficient nectar, for all those amazing butterflies that will start to visit your garden. Also:

• Avoid the use of pesticides and opt for natural solutions when possible.
• Provide landing pads near water sources so the butterflies can drink safely (mud puddles are ideal since they allow the butterflies to get necessary minerals from the soil, too.)
• Create safe spaces for the butterflies to roost at night, like trees and shrubs
• Position large, flat rocks in the sun so that the butterflies can warm themselves in order to be able to fly again
• Trim plants carefully — there might be a life cycle in progress under a leaf!
• Avoid using peat-based compost.
• Go the extra mile, and register your garden as a Monarch Waystation.

Types of milkweed to plant — and other plants Monarchs love

Here is just a handful of the many plants that will attract butterflies and other pollinators to your garden.

• The types of milkweed Monarch butterflies love best include swamp milkweed, showy milkweed, and butterfly milkweed.
• Nectar plants they enjoy include Joe Pye weed, Mexican sunflower ‘torch’, butterfly bushes, and buddleja buzz.
• Pollinator plants they feed on include native wildflowers that will do well in the soil and sunlight conditions in your garden.
• For the Western U.S., check out these planting resources for more ideas about what to plant.

Blueprint for a Butterfly Garden

When considering the physical space and layout of a butterfly garden, there are some essential ideas and necessary steps one need to take to help the butterflies thrive successfully:

  • Consider the physical space that you have at your disposal, and plan a design that works for your garden.
  • Designate space for wild disarray. Dead foliage on the ground and tall, wild grasses are a favorite hibernating spot for some caterpillars and pupae.
  • Plan for sunny areas and partially shaded areas so that the butterflies can be warm enough to fly without overheating and becoming dehydrated.
  • Research what kind of conditions and planting practices will promote optimal growth for nectar/pollinator plants in your region.
  • Create spaces for every phase of butterfly life: trees to roost in, plants to feed on, water to drink, and densely planted areas where a caterpillar could hang a chrysalis largely undetected by predators.

Mighty Tiny Migrator

One of nature’s most curious phenomena is the Monarch butterfly migration. Each fall, a very special group of Monarchs is born with the ability and purpose to live for up to six months so they can complete the migration south. Why is that so special? Well, the adult Monarch butterfly’s life span is typically only two to six weeks. It takes three to four successive generations to complete the migration back up north.

Another way you can help the Monarch population is by understanding and supporting their migration journey. Here’s a wee crash course on migration information

Migration Paths

Monarch butterflies fall into three distinct populations that follow different migration paths across the United States:

  • In Southern Florida, the Monarch population does not migrate.
  • The Monarch population west of the Rockies migrates each fall from Western Canada to the coast of California near San Diego and Santa Cruz to spend the winter.
  • East of the Rocky Mountains, the Monarchs migrate in the fall by several different paths originating in central and Eastern Canada and the Northeastern United States.

All three populations’ migration paths merge over Central Texas, and the entire group continues its migration together to central Mexico, where they spend the winter in the mountains in Oyamel fir forests.

This incredible journey south is completed in just one generation.

Migration Dates

The Monarch’s time of migration each year depends on the temperature outside and the length of the days, but goes roughly like this:

  • August 18-30: The peak Monarch sightings at the 49th parallel coincide with the start of their journey south.
  • November 10-22: The majority of the Monarch population is seen in overwintering locations.
  • March: The first generation to migrate north begins, but they won’t arrive at their most northern destination until the fourth generation in late July or early August.

How to support the Monarch migration journey

Since their migration takes multiple generations, it is crucial that Monarch butterflies be able to complete their life cycle multiple times all over the United States. By using our tips to build a butterfly garden and ensuring abundant access to nectar and milkweed, you are supporting these amazing little migrators — no matter where you live!

Specific Monarch migration information and tracking based on milkweed habitats is actively mapped by The Western Monarch Milkweed Mapper Organization. You can help their cause by reporting sightings of Monarchs and milkweed.










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