Monarchs at the beach

by Cynthia
(La Jolla, CA USA)

Mama Monarch July 16

Mama Monarch July 16

This butterfly flitted about all day (July 16,2011) on my patio across from La Jolla Shores beach. 12 days later I noticed my milkweed plant had been eaten up! I bought another (then another) to feed the 32 hungry caterpillars. I now have (Aug 14) 25 known pupas and I was hoping for a butterfly this weekend but now I don't think so.

I'm so excited about it all and now my friends and family are too! I have lots of questions now I'm researching, I hope these guys lay their eggs where they were born. I have lots of photos if you'd like to see them...

Karen says:
Thanks for sharing :)

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Monarchs this year
by: Carole of Spring Valley, CA

I loved the photobucket pictures from Cynthia of La Jolla!

It's amazing how many Monarchs I have right now, too. I noticed that one of my Asclepias physocarpus--or Family Jewels Tree--on the deck had almost no leaves left on it, but had 5 caterpillars. Luckily I have more of them on the east side of the house, so moved a good part of them. I think they do start eating other leaves if they are totally out of the right kind, but don't think that's good for them. (If anyone knows what this will do to them, please let me know.)

I got some Asclepias tuberosa plants last year, which are planted in the yard. When I've found them, they were totally without leaves. Hopefully they will come back. I had an A. curassavica in a barrel for several years, and all the leaves off it would be gone and then they'd grow back. That died last year, and I don't have any more of them around. I need to start more from seed.

Oh--I also have a Sarcostemma blooming right now. It's a CA native with really spindly stems and leaves. I don't know how a caterpillar would find much to eat on it. It was pulled by at least 2 guys but has managed to survive for 6 years now.

I've also planted Asclepias fascicularis a few times, but the gophers just love it. Now I have one in a pot that's doing okay. I'm hoping to have it get big enough to go to seed, and then hopefully have lots spread around the yard. Maybe the dang gophers couldn't get them all!

Great Pictures
by: Kathy

What great pictures. Thanks for sharing. I never saw so many cats before. Unfortunately, mine are being destroyed by the brown paper wasp!!

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