A Good Plant for A Butterfly Garden and Monarch Butterflies

By AF3LMike | af3l_mike | 25 Mar 2019


A good plant for a butterfly garden is called "Milkweed" This plant is a favorite for Monarch Butterflies which lay their eggs on the plant for them to hatch. About 4-5 yrs ago, in early spring, I noticed some Milkweed plants growing in my yard where I usually plant my small garden. So, I uprooted them and planted them in a different section of my yard away from my garden. Sometimes I am a practicing farmer :) :) :) These Milkweed plants spread like a wildfire. I have to keep them contained. After a few weeks, I noticed that quite a few Monarch Butterflies were on the flowers of these plants and larvae eating the leaves. After some quick research on the trusty smartphone, I found out that these are a favorite source for the Monarch Butterfly and so the Milkweed plant found a home and stayed in my yard.

After doing some quick research on the Monarch Butterfly, much of this information I did not know about their lifespan. I did know that the Monarch Butterfly migrates south to California/Mexico but was surprised to learn about the first 3 generations of Monarch's

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Monarch Butterfly on Milkweed plant

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Milkweed plants in fall dropping their seeds on the ground for next spring

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The following information was taken from monarch-butterfly.com I always like to include facts about what I photograph, talk about and post. It also gives me the opportunity to learn new things about the Monarch butterfly that I did not know, such as the first 3 generations lifespan



The Life Cycle(s) of a Monarch Butterfly

Monarch butterflies go through four stages during one life cycle, and through four generations in one year. It’s a little confusing but keep reading and you will understand. The four stages of the Monarch Butterfly lifecycle are the egg, the larvae (caterpillar), the pupa (chrysalis), and the adult butterfly. The four generations are actually four different butterflies going through these four stages during one year until it is time to start over again with stage one and generation one.

In February and March, the final generation of hibernating monarch butterflies comes out of hibernation to find a mate. They then migrate north and east in order to find a place to lay their eggs. This starts stage one and generation one of the new year for the monarch butterfly

In March and April the eggs are laid on milkweed plants. They hatch into baby caterpillars, also called the larvae. It takes about four days for the eggs to hatch. Then the baby caterpillar doesn’t do much more than eat the milkweed in order to grow. After about two weeks, the caterpillar will be fully-grown and find a place to attach itself so that it can start the process of metamorphosis. It will attach itself to a stem or a leaf using silk and transform into a chrysalis. Although, from the outside, the 10 days of the chrysalis phase seems to be a time when nothing is happening, it is really a time of rapid change. Within the chrysalis the old body parts of the caterpillar are undergoing a remarkable transformation, called metamorphosis, to become the beautiful parts that make up the butterfly that will emerge. The monarch butterfly will emerge from the pupa and fly away, feeding on flowers and just enjoying the short life it has left, which is only about two to six weeks. This first generation monarch butterfly will then die after laying eggs for generation number two

The second generation of monarch butterflies is born in May and June, and then the third generation will be born in July and August. These monarch butterflies will go through exactly the same four stage life cycle as the first generation did, dying two to six weeks after it becomes a beautiful monarch butterfly

The fourth generation of monarch butterflies is a little bit different than the first three generations. The fourth generation is born in September and October and goes through exactly the same process as the first, second and third generations except for one part. The fourth generation of monarch butterflies does not die after two to six weeks. Instead, this generation of monarch butterflies migrates to warmer climates like Mexico and California and will live for six to eight months until it is time to start the whole process over again


My camera equipment:

Canon EOS 60D body

Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM for Canon EF mount

Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di Vc USD Lens for Canon

All photos are handshot, no tripod

Thanks everyone for taking the time to read this post. Have a great day/night wherever you may be

 



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AF3LMike
AF3LMike

My name is Michael from Pennsylvania, U.S.A. I am 47 yrs old and have created this blog for my passion of bird, other wildlife, landscape photography, basically anything that captures my interest with a camera. I hope you enjoy what I post


af3l_mike
af3l_mike

My name is Michael from Pennsylvania, U.S.A. I am 47 yrs old and have created this blog for my passion of bird, other wildlife, landscape photography and basically anything that captures my interest with a camera. I hope you enjoy what I post

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