Recent Monarch Activity at Winter’s Hill

I monitor activity almost daily. Have found at least 2 doz. larva since June 26 but only 1 chrysalis! Today July 19 I saw 1 instar; yesterday I saw 2 on different plants in about the 4 or 5 instar stage.. Have posted questions about several pictures and would greatly appreciate info on them. I’m often asked if milkweed is invasive. I have not found it to be so. It seems to be a slow growing plant when it gets no watering.  My goal is to have several six foot patches close to the winery and larger patches further away so there is “natural habitat” for monarchs. In the six years since I first planted milkweed they have not spread as much as I imagined or hoped for.

 

 

 

 

 

Ascelpias Speciosa – the host plant for the monarch larva.

 

Monarchs often lay eggs in the flower bud.

Monarchs often lay eggs in the flower bud.

How did she find this plant?

How did she find this plant?

Dropping Eggs. Photographed 6/11/15

 

Probably the 4th instar.

Probably the 4th instar.

Seem to feed from on top of the leaf and hanging on from below.

Seem to feed from on top of the leaf and hanging on from below.

Underside of leaf might offer protection. Have found eggs on top of and under leaves.

Whose droppings are these? Are these the instars that seem to have disappeared?

 

Multiple instars. The plant is a small one. Note the leaves that have been eaten.

Like in 2014 found chrysalis on nearby  cedar rail fence. Date was 7/4/15

Like in 2014 found chrysalis on nearby cedar rail fence. Date was 7/4/15

7/5/15 only time we saw 2 butterflies together.

7/5/15 only time we saw 2 butterflies together.

There are milkweed plants at 5 different locations. Have seen instars at each and all plants have well chewed on leaves!

There are milkweed plants at 5 different locations. Have seen instars at each and all plants have well chewed on leaves!

On 7/16 the color had changed very  little. Noon of 17 the butterfly wing was visible and at 4:30 it was seen flying.

On 7/16 the color had changed very little. Noon of 17 the butterfly wing was visible and at 4:30 it was seen flying.

Emily About Emily

Emily founded Winter's Hill Estate with her husband Peter in 1990.

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