What better place to find my first of season Monarch than along “Butterfly Ally” at the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship!
Yesterday afternoon, Mona Miller and I taught our third class of the season on Raising and Releasing Monarch Butterflies.
After the class (knowing where there was a good stand of milkweed), we decided to take a walk down Butterfly Ally just in case we might catch a glimpse of a Monarch or see some caterpillars or eggs.
Neither one of us had seen a Monarch yet this year although she did have one enter her garden in Reston when she wasn’t looking and lay an egg (which she raised to it’s second instar and gave to me yesterday to raise to adulthood 🙂 [Thank you Mona!]
Now, when we go out doing nature explorations, “Oh! Look!” could mean many things! but this time, as I looked up, what fluttered by, but a Monarch butterfly!!
It was a male, in perfect condition, very fresh!
I bet it had fed on milkweed in that patch, pupated somewhere in the field or along the forest edge, and eclosed. It was wonderful to see him!! (Yes, that’s an understatement, my heart fluttered when I saw him! 🙂
Green milkweed can be found in Loudoun but is less common so we were excited to see that growing there.