Tag Archive | Milkweed

Horror in the Milkweed Patch

Horror in the Milkweed Patch

Anne walks out the front door into our yard to look for caterpillars on the milkweed. She has seen some Monarch butterflies recently and thought they may have laid eggs on the plants. A few minutes later, she knocks on the dining room window and tells me to come quick with my camera. As I […]

Cultivating a Future Naturalist

“Hi! Hi!”, I hear my 16-month-old granddaughter say excitedly in our Florida room. Wondering who she was talking to, I look into the room to see her face to face with a young eastern gray squirrel that climbed on the window ledge to peer into our house. The squirrel seemed as enchanted to see my […]

How Milkweed Helped the Tiger Swallowtail!

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. […]

The Amazing Bug!

The Amazing Bug!

As Anne and I enjoy watching butterflies sipping nectar from our milkweed flowers and monarch caterpillars devouring milkweed leaves, we see small orange and black colored insects on the plant’s seed pods. These insects are large milkweed bugs that eat milkweed seeds. This bug has a long proboscis that pierces the seed pods and injects […]

A Queen is Born!

A Queen is Born!

The queen caterpillars we found on our milkweed plants have grown, pupated and are about to hatch. We see one of the chrysalids (butterfly pupa) turn from a spring green to a dark color signifying the impending birth of the adult butterfly. Soon the butterfly breaks free of the chrysalis, hangs on to the shell […]

Voracious Caterpillars

Voracious Caterpillars

My wonderful wife, Anne, ventures out one morning to check on the milkweed plants growing alongside our home. To her dismay the leaves on the milkweeds are nearly gone. Upon closer examination, Anne discovers the reason why. There are a dozen or so monarch caterpillars on the plants eating the leaves, the seed pod casings […]

Mating Monarchs

Mating Monarchs

I caught these two butterflies in action. Once the eggs are fertilized, the female will seek members of the milkweed family to lay its eggs. It will not be long before the eggs hatch and we find caterpillars munching on the milkweeds in our garden.