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A Great Day for Monarch Making in Garland Texas

Female Monarch on Milkweed 9:20 AM August 18 – Garland Community Garden

Garland Community Garden is a great place for Monarch Watching! 

You are guaranteed to see more Monarchs and other pollinators in the Garland Community Garden than any other place in Garland.  It is also the only place where you and your family and friends can take a photo of yourself as a Monarch.  We hope that you will and that you will send the photo to Mayor Athas in support of his Mayor’s Monarch Pledge.  The Garland Community Garden, stewarded by Loving Garland Green,  is located at 4022 Naaman School Road at the intersection of Brand and Naaman School Road in Garland Texas.

Please remember Loving Garland Green on Texas Day of Giving.  Beginning September 7, simply go to Loving Garland Green's information site  at North Texas Day of Giving  and you can schedule your donation for Loving Garland Green.

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Progression in Our History of Monarch Care

I was thinking this morning about how Charlie’s and my care of the Monarchs is advancing with each year.  It seems like once you begin paying attention to these beautiful creatures, you are hooked.

Our first year to rescue Monarch caterpillars and then release them was 2015.  The big event that year was when one of our members, Cheryl Andres, found a Monarch Caterpillar on a dead milkweed leaf on December 5th in the Garland Community Garden.  We kept the caterpillar that ended up eclosing on New Years Eve.  We named the female “Happy 2016” and drove her all the way to Raymondville to release her. 

The next year we shared many of the caterpillars we rescued with students in our local Garland Schools and we began tagging the butterflies prior to releasing them by participating in a citizen science project sponsored by Monarch Watch Org., an organization affiliated with Kansas University. 

Now, in 2017, in addition to rescuing caterpillars, we are rescuing Monarch eggs, netting Monarchs (then tagging and releasing), and of course, still rescuing caterpillars and releasing them as tagged Monarchs.  We are also participating in a caterpillar and milkweed monitoring citizen science project sponsored by the University of Minnesota.  Our Monarch world has certainly expanded. 

Two eggs rescued from the Garland Community Garden August 18, 2017 - Photo Jane Stroud

Two Female Monarchs at the Garland Community Garden Yesterday Deposited Eggs

Yesterday morning when I was down at the Garland Community Garden I saw two female monarchs in both of our Monarch patches and then about an hour later before leaving the garden I examined the underside of several milkweed plants and found two eggs near the top of two of our tropical milkweeds.  I rescued the eggs and brought them home.  The eggs are so tiny, I can’t imagine them becoming caterpillars, but we will see in a few days.

I feel a little more confident since receiving a link from Jane yesterday as to how one should take care of Monarch eggs.  http://www.instructables.com/id/Monarch-Butterflies-Egg-to-Butterfly

Jane downloaded a new app for her phone that can be used with the phone camera to magnify photos.  She came over and took photos of the two eggs I rescued yesterday.  We are not entirely certain the egg on the left is a Monarch egg as they are oval shaped and this one appears more rounded, but we shall see.

And then there is the continuing saga of the four caterpillars rescued by Loving Garland Green Board member, Burgi Bartlett on August 7, 2017. . .

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Female Monarch - Garland Texas - August 18, 2017 -  shortly after eclosure

First of Four Monarch Caterpillars Rescued by Loving Garland Green Board Member Burgi Bartlett on August 7th became a Female Monarch Butterfly on August 18th!

Female Monarch rescued as a caterpillar on August 7, 2017 by Loving Garland Green member, Burgi Barlett, eclosed on August 18th.

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Tally of Garland Resident Rescued Monarchs Thus Far in 2017

As mentioned in a previous article, we have already released two other Monarchs that eclosed in August in Garland, Texas.  Kala King, a Garland nature photographer, rescued those in late July.  

Thus far for August of 2017: Loving Garland Green has released two Monarchs (one male and one female); we have one female Monarch butterfly; three more caterpillars close to eclosure; and two eggs waiting in the wings.  These late July/early to mid August rescues are most likely fourth generation Monarchs.  They will be laying eggs for fifth generation Monarchs right here in Garland, Texas.  The fifth generation lives six to eight months and flies to Mexico to overwinter. They then return in late March of the next year to deposit eggs for the first generation of that year.

This year was our first year to rescue Monarch caterpillars and release first generation Monarch butterflies at the Garland Community Garden.  Jane Stroud, President Loving Garland Green, had rescued four from her home garden in early April of 2017.  We were fortunate to be able to share the release of five Monarch butterflies with 69 First Graders from Beaver MST here in Garland.

There you have it.  That’s why Garland, Texas is such an important way station for Monarchs.  We are home to many first and fifth generation Monarchs! 

Rescuing Monarchs is important for so many reasons.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has petitioned to protect the monarch butterfly under the Endangered Species Act.  Although other factors are at play, habitat loss is one of the major causes for declines in Monarch population,  Increasing habitat by planting milkweed is one easy way to help the Monarchs.  Rescuing them as eggs and caterpillars is also important.  It is estimated by most sources that in the wild less than 5% of Monarchs make it from egg to butterfly due to their large number of predators whereas the ratio is reversed for rescued Monarchs as 95% of those rescued at their early stages survive to eclose as butterflies.  Thus rescue and planting milkweed are the two best ways we can help bring back Monarchs.

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Join Monarch Maniacs in Garland Texas and Bring Back Monarchs!

Participants will receive:
 - One seed packet of Green Milkweed (contains 10 seeds);
 - One 22-by-16 Monarch Maniacs yard sign (double-sided with stake); and
 - One information card with tips and tricks on how to plant your milkweed.

These items will be available for pickup at City Hall, 200 N. Fifth St. For more information about when to pick up your items, call the Office of the Mayor at 972-205-2400 or email Mayor@GarlandTX.gov

 

Saturday, August 19, 2017