Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Mad for Monarchs

Canadian Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife-Friendly Habitat
I started gardening more than 25 years ago and, like most novice gardeners, made lots of mistakes along the way. When we bought our first "country home" that included a 1 1/2 acre lot, my dad gave me a good piece of advice. He told me not to make the gardens too big, or I might not enjoy them as much.

It was good advice, and he was proven right after we bought a 20 acre piece of land 10 years later. Although, unfortunately, I wasn't able to let him know that I finally learned my lesson.

Now we live in a town with quite a small lot. I still enjoy gardening, but I am now learning to garden just as much for the wildlife as for myself. 

I worked at obtaining all the things necessary to have our property registered as a "wildlife friendly habitat", and we achieved that in the spring.

A few years ago we bought some swamp milkweed, one of the few plants that monarchs need to survive. This year was the first year the plants produced pods. And...it was the first year we had a monarch visit!

We were also very excited to see a caterpillar munching on the milkweed. He spent a day eating one pod, and then he disappeared. Although we didn't see him go through the pupation stage, we are hoping we helped the life cycle continue.

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