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Monday, October 10, 2016

Mother Nature's Stained-Glass Creation




The Monarch butterflies have been prolific this year.

With more than 80 percent of the world’s flowering plants relying on pollinators, their importance to natural ecosystems and agriculture cannot be overstated. However, populations of pollinators, including bird, bat, butterfly, beetle and bee species, have been declining around the world.    Monarch butterflies complete incredible migrations of hundreds to thousands of miles each year across North America. Along their migratory paths, Monarchs rely on habitats that contain milkweed species, which is the only plant that they lay their eggs on. Monarch caterpillars feed exclusively on milkweed, which contains chemical compounds that make them poisonous to potential predators.

Soon they will be returning to their home in Mexico, where they will spend their winter hibernation clustered in small areas of the Reserva de la Biosfera Mariposa Monarca (Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve), a national protected area and nature preserve that covers more than 200-square-miles.


10 comments:

donna baker said...

Aren't they incredible Jo? I'm going to be planting more milkweed next year. I have seen many bumble bees this summer, but not as many honey bees.

DJan said...

It boggles my mind, how far those little creatures fly. I didn't know they ONLY eat milkweed. A good reason to plant as much as possible. :-)

marlane said...

I have several of the orange milkweed plants, I planted two and others have self seeded. It amazes me that the Monarchs find the plants !! We have been fascinated by them, usually just a few come at a time, but more often just one. Eggs are laid, caterpillars eat the milk weed and then chrysalis' form and then we have more butterflies who go on their way.

The Furry Gnome said...

I'm glad to hear they were plentiful around your place. I fear I only saw one all season.

Betsy Brock said...

Beautiful! I don't think I've seen one this year! I guess we were just blessed with tree frogs. haha.

Szara Sowa said...

He is like stained glass, indeed. Have a nice week.

Kathy said...

I have not seen a butterfly in years. So sad that so many species are disappearing. Maybe I'll try planting milkweed next year.

bayou said...

What a lovely creature! It's great to learn that there is a Biosphere reserve in Mexico. The only Monarch I have ever seen was on the Island of Madeira. We had very few bees and butterflies here this season. But it was anyway a rotten year due to late cold, hale and floods in the beginning, then a very cold May and June and summer really kicked in only by mid July and the season ends with terrible drought. What kind of winter will we have and when?

Winifred said...

Yes lots of species of butterflies & bees are becoming extinct now. It's because of the the use of Glyphosate by companies like Monsanto. If the use of this toxic product is killing the bees, then what's it doing to us as we eat the food products it's sprayed on? There's a massive move against the re licensing of it in the EU which Monsanto is fighting & threatening huge lawsuits against the EU. Shows these huge global companies have no conscience at all about what they'r doing to the environment or people. Oh dear rant over.

"If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man."

Albert Einstein

CJ said...

A gorgeous photo. I very much enjoyed Barbara Kingsolver's Flight Behaviour, and it's so good to know that the butterflies have a safe area to return to each year.