Are you ready? The Monarch Butterflies have left Mexico and are headed our way!!! You can read the report from Journey North here. And watch the migration unfold as people like you and me submit their sightings!
And so it begins! Or, I should really say – And so it continues — this relay of life! As you have probably read through the numerous articles and reports in the news, the Monarch butterfly population is dangerously low. If you’re new to the news, just check out these articles:
– Monarch butterflies keep disappearing. Here’s why [Washington Post] – Migration of Monarch Butterflies Shrinks Again Under Inhospitable Conditions [New York Times] – Monarch butterflies decline; migration may disappear [Associated Press]
While numbers once measured a billion butterflies strong, right now they measure just 33 million – a mere shadow. In fact, you could fit ALL the Monarchs that are starting this great journey north into a regular size Walmart and still have room to shop.
But as a friend said, “where there’s life, there’s hope” – and right now the Monarchs are doing what they innately know to do – they are leaving their overwintering site in Mexico and flying back to us – looking for milkweed to lay their eggs on and native nectar plants to gain food from.
In Texas, we’ve seen reports on the Monarch Watch listserve that young milkweed plants are coming up – that’s great news! We hope that continues since whether or not we see Monarchs this spring depends in large part on what happens south of us!
Here in Virginia WE need to get ready and make sure our gardens are ready.
What do we do to get ready for them? We set the table as any good host or hostess would and we wait for our guests to arrive!
In mid-May, we will be getting in milkweed plugs from Monarch Watch and we’ll have those available for you to buy at $3 per plug. Watch our website and Facebook page for information on how and when to purchase those. The more milkweed and native nectar plants you have, the better the chance of attracting Monarchs.
So now is the time – look at your garden, your landscaping and see where you can put in a Monarch Waystation. It can be as small as a container garden on a deck or as large as a field that is managed to let the milkweed and nectar plants flourish. It can be at home in your yard, or at your church, school or workplace. It can be tidy and neat or wild and free. YOU can do this! WE can do this!
When you see your first wild milkweed shoots coming up from the ground – you can report it on Journey North
And – when you see your first Monarch – please tell us! and post it to Journey North so we can watch the migration unfold!
Let’s Bring Back the Monarch, Let’s Bring Back the Milkweed! Let’s Keep the Magic Alive!