The last half of July and the entire month of August was dedicated largely to raising monarch butterflies. Other fieldwork included photographing invasive species for upcoming app updates as well. But monarchs took up the majority of our time. It has been ten years since monarchs visited our garden, and we had the amazing good fortune to witness a female laying eggs on very young (up to 1 foot tall) milkweed plants. We collected 20 of those eggs and 18 made it to the chrysalis stage. We chose one butterfly to monitor daily and called her Truman.
We released Truman yesterday to embark on an epic journey to Mexico where, if she makes it, will overwinter until the spring when she begins northward to mate, lay eggs and die. She is special because she is the generation that lives up to 8 months rather than a couple of short weeks. Here's to hoping Truman makes it to Mexico! Below is our very own Truman show from when she was a tiny 1 mm egg to her release into the wild 5 weeks later. See her being released here!