Showing posts with the label butterfly project

Milkweed Seeds Acquired

At the Memorial Day Parade in Elmhurst over the weekend, I grabbed two packets of these Milkweed seeds.  Those of you who have been paying attention to the plight of the Monarch Butterfly know that they're in trouble and gardeners in Illinois can help by planting Milkweed.  (BTW, this isn't the first time I've covered butterflies on the blog.   Here's a post about our Butterfly project from back in 2013 .) Over the past few decades, Monarch populations have decreased by over 90%.  Yeah!  90%?!!?  And it is happening for two reasons:  weather and habitat.  We can't control the weather, but we CAN control the availability of the right habitat for these guys.  And the right habitat is all about Milkweed. That means that backyard gardeners need to start thinking about dedicating a space for cultivating Milkweed and thanks to the First Congressional United Church in Elmhurst ( who was giving out these seeds at the parade), I'm going to do just that!

Painted Lady Butterfly Project: Caterpillars Arrived

A few weeks ago, I took the girls to the local "My Favorite Toy Store" in the Elmhurst City Centre where we picked up a few things including a butterfly project.  For twenty-ish bucks, you get a mesh cage and a coupon that you send away for caterpillars.  This was going to be a project for me and the Babe, my oldest daughter. We dutifully filled out the coupon and send it away.  This weekend, the Babe received a box in the mail and when she opened it, she found a sealed cup with five or six tiny caterpillars in it with some peanut-butter-looking stuff at the bottom. Once we opened up the box, the instructions said to set the cup upright in a place that is 68 to 75 degrees out of direct sunlight.  At first, these little guys didn't move at all.  They seemed to be stuck in place.  They must be kept in some setting that keeps in a place close to hibernation which ends after the box arrives, I would think.  A few hours of sitting on our counter, they started to move.