Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Monarch Milestone

Today marked a milestone in my monarch ranching experience -- 6 monarch butterflies hatched and released on the same day!!

Two were already hatched by 6 AM this morning when I left for work and the rest emerged during the morning. So they were really fluttery and anxious to fly by the time I got home early this afternoon. Since I don't tag them until I get outside in the backyard, I decided to take a chance and open the ranch to see if I could get photos of all 6 butterflies.

Not to worry.......I did manage to capture the escaped monarch behind my computer desk and he was released unharmed out in the backyard.

Today's butterflies increases the total of monarchs raised, tagged and released from this summer's monarch ranch to 37! Initial observations show that at least 4 more monarchs will emerge tomorrow. With the monarchs still to emerge in the ranch and including the 4 wild monarch butterflies I caught and tagged last week, I should be able to achieve my goal of tagging 50 monarch butterflies this year by Labor Day.


forestal said...

very neat

Mary C said...

They are so beautiful, Ruthie. Great shots, too! Will this be a banner year for you? In other words, will this be the most monarchs you have tagged and released?

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful sight, all those monarchs in one place. You should be very proud of yourself for raising all those butterflies in your ranch.


Mollie said...

Congratulations, Monarch Mom!! I am becoming more and more inspired. The milkweed I planted from seed--I have about 5 plants about 3 inches tall--covered with netting so they can grow a bit more before I let the monarchs have them! Love your Monarch butterfly stories. Thanks for taking the time to care for them and for sharing your pictures and stories about them.

Gaelyn said...

You are certainly adding to the population. Plus what a joy to watch them.

Jayne said...

Yea Ruthie! How exciting!

RuthieJ said...

Thank you Forestal.

Thanks Mary. Yes, this year I've worked a little bit harder at it than previous years and will be tagging and releasing 50 monarch butterflies! 4 of these were wild ones I caught and tagged in the backyard, but the other 46 were raised from caterpillars in my monarch ranch.

Thanks Mom. It was a good project for me this summer. I'm already planning to get a bigger cage to raise more monarchs in next summer. Maybe I'll try for 75 in 2011!

Thanks Mollie. I'm glad I've inspired you. It's been a little time-consuming, but still enjoyable. The miracle of starting with a caterpillar and ending up with a butterfly is so worth all the work!

Thanks Gaelyn. I really do enjoy watching them.

Thanks Jayne. I have something even better for today's blog post!