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June 22, 2017

I've created my own theme park


It's called Butterfly World. Or maybe I should call it Cater-Palooza.

I'm so deep in my monarch butterfly saving that it really has become more time consuming than I'd like, but like most addictions, I don't know how to stop!

I feel so compelled to help them and at first just planting the butterfly garden filled with lots of milkweed and nectar plants was enough.
But then it wasn't.
I noticed a LOT of butterfly activity and a LOT of baby caterpillars.
Nature was doing her thing.
And then nature was doing her thing.
And that second nature wasn't helping the situation.
I have a large amount of wasps and lizards that ALSO like to eat caterpillars.
So, then I was taking in the baby caterpillars and keeping them safely until they were larger and wouldn't be eaten by the lizards and wasps. But then other things were happening.
Parasites. Disease.
Ugh.
So, now I'm taking in the baby cats and eggs and rearing them until they were full grown butterflies.


This tattered {smoky colored}female was around my garden for a few weeks laying gobs of eggs. 

And with that, my butterfly population has grown so much that I can hardly keep up with the babies and eggs.

This is a newly hatched monarch caterpillar on a Q-tip. Thank goodness I had that laser vision surgery!





Occasionally one will try to pick my brain before taking off into the great blue yonder. 

I planted Mexican sunflowers for nectar and the butterfly's love them!



"Oye Vey" as my not so Jewish Mother would say.


But I'm fortunate that I don't work full time and I can do this with MY time.
Somedays I release one or two butterfly's,  some days I release 17.
They are beautiful critters and I think in the caterpillar stage they are so darn cute that I'd like to kiss their little faces.
OF course, I refrain because a smooch from me could be the kiss of death. I'm a rough kisser.



I started writing this post a few weeks ago, and since then, I'm really knee deep in caterpillars. So much so that it's becoming apparent that I can't keep up with my production. :)

I've found that I have so many eggs being laid that I've missed and I'm finding that there are SO many outside that are making it to adulthood. So, I'm doing some inside and letting the rest fend for themselves. {Sophie's choice!}
Don't ya hate it when your bangs get in your eyes and a monarch chrysalis forms on your neck? 

I sit at my desk and I can see so many of them fluttering by and it makes me so happy!

My name is Suzanne and I'm a monarch addict.

There. I said it!

Keep on flying!

XOXO



10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love these pictures! We have a tiny butterfly garden that we created and we were also thrilled that butterfly weed grows wild in our woods. Our little neighbor Ella loves to watch our butterflies in the garden. I especially love the butterfly who landed on your "brain!" lol Have a great day - it is raining like crazy in GA today!

George said...

I really appreciate all you do to help the Monarch butterflies. Your butterfly garden looks beautiful.

NCmountainwoman said...

Three cheers for the Monarch whisperer. We need more and more people planting for the butterflies.

Lynda said...

Praise God that nature has been abundantly creating again so you can have a little break. I did not know about the wasps and lizards eating the cute little babies. Kind of heart-breaking to think of one being stung to death and then sucked dry by a bee. I much prefer the lizard because it would be quicker - - - if one had to choose the kind of torture they must face.
It is so neat that you have planted the flowers to attract them. Butterflies are just so ethereal and truly make a little fantasy escape world in a corner of your yard.

troutbirder said...

What a neat & wonderful thing to be addicted to....:)

Stephanie said...

Okay this is just amazing! :)

Dawn said...

monarch addict, butterfly savior.. whatever!!

Unknown said...

Look at you changing the world for one butterfly at a time. You are sensational.

Tanya Breese said...

you are the butterfly whisperer! and you crack me up...i know i keep saying it, but seriously!

Southern Gal said...

I think it's a fabulous way to spend your time. I believe the monarchs think it's fabulous, too!