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How Milkweed Helped the Tiger Swallowtail!

Monarch butterflies continue to find the milkweed plants in our garden to lay eggs. Soon, there are only green sticks left to our milkweed plants dotted with hungry caterpillars. Anne counts 15 monarch caterpillars of various sizes. We find a small one crawling on our hot concrete driveway looking for more milkweed plants to eat.

It is an easy decision to head back to the nursery to buy more milkweed plants. To my delight, while looking for the nursery’s milkweed plants, I see several tiger swallowtail butterflies sipping the nectar of other nursery plants. These are large, yellow and black butterflies in the swallowtail family. Anne calls me to come over and help her pick the healthiest of the nursery’s milkweeds, but first I grab a few of the plants the swallowtails are attracted to plant in my garden.

With another $35.00 worth of monarch caterpillar food in our car we head home to feed our wild insects. It is part of a nearly hundred-dollar investment we have made buying milkweed plants for our caterpillars and well worth the expense.

Anne looks forward to watching her monarch caterpillars to change into beautiful butterflies and I look forward to seeing eastern tiger swallowtail and other butterflies enjoying the fruits of my labor.

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