Feed Hungry Little Caterpillars

 

Butterfly on Pentas

I never did find any milkweed. Theses Pentas were a favorite of the butterflies.

A noted entomologist said that people don’t notice anything smaller than a sparrow.

I don’t know about you but I am fascinated by butterflies. I pause when I see one. Seeing butterflies brightens my day.

When I went to Miami’s Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden or FTBG as my grandson called it, I spent a lot of time in the Butterfly Garden. We also visited the Wings of the Tropics Butterfly Exhibit and Greenhouse. We saw many butterflies including the Florida state butterfly, Zebra Longwing, and Blue Morphos my grandson’s favorite

Blue morpos

At first gland, we didn’t  realize these were Blue Morphos at Fairchild because we only saw their under wings.

I recalled all this recently as I read an article in the Florida Times Union on the migration of the Monarch Butterfly to Mexico in October. It seems some fly as far away as Canada to Mexico.

Since 1990 Monarch Butterflies numbers have plummeted from 1 billion to 30 million. The biggest threat is habitat destruction by Monsato’s Roundup. Roundup is used by homeowners and the agriculture industry as a weed killer.

Monsato also genetically modifies corn and other crops. GM corn and soy are resistant to Roundup which kills all other plants including milkweed. Milkweed is the only plant Monarch caterpillars eat.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service announced a $2 million initiative to restore milkweed to public lands. In March, Monsato pledged $4 million for the restoration.

Many cities have launched Milkweed Initiatives. Check with the National Wildlife Federation at nwf.org for more information.

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