Our Last Monarch
By which I mean, the last Monarch we raised indoors and then released out in the garden. Now that the southward migration has begun, I don’t expect to find any more Monarch eggs or caterpillars.
The occupant of the last chrysalis emerged yesterday morning while Judy was on the phone. This morning we took her wire mesh cage out to the front garden. She climbed right onto Judy’s finger.
Judy then tried to deposit her on the Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia).
The Monarch made herself right at home.
And then spread her wings to bask in the morning sun.
There seems to be a lot of anecdotal evidence in Chicago and elsewhere that there have been a lot more Monarch butterflies flying around this summer. I’d like to think that all the planting of Milkweed by gardeners and conservationists is paying off. However, it’s been pointed out that what really matters is the number of Monarchs who survive the migration, then survive the winter in Mexico.
But there’s no question that the more numerous Monarchs have added an enchanting quality to every garden they have graced. Let’s keep planting Milkweeds and refraining from using insecticides, and maybe next year we’ll have even more.