Friday, May 3, 2013

Planting Milkweed for Monarch Butterflies

My new thing is Monarch butterflies. Husband and I saw the Flight of the Butterflies movie last month. The visuals and deep rich colors are amazing! I felt like I could put my hand out and the butterflies would land on my finger. Apparently, IMAX nature movies have come a long way since I watched The Grand Canyon IMAX movie at Cedar Point every summer as a kid (hey, the theater was air conditioned!)

I'm embedding the trailer in case the movie isn't playing near you.

The most amazing thing I learned about those butterflies I chased as a kid, is monarch butterflies take this amazing journey from Mexico to Canada. It takes three generations of Monarch butterflies to make the trip. I really had no idea. I am amazed that something so fragile as a butterfly is also so hardy to fly across three countries to migrate. 

I have a new found healthy respect for Monarch butterflies. 

Monarch butterflies need milk weed to survive. They lay their eggs on it, eat it, and built their chysalists on it, and eat it some more as full blown butterflies.  

Of course the movie, being a nature movie, encouraged viewers to plant butterfly gardens with milkweed to help the Monarchs. The museum where we saw the movie gave us milk weed seeds too. No pressure. 

I'd plant them in our flowerbeds so Husband and I can sit on the front porch with an ice cold lemonade and watch the butterflies on the milkweed and bees on the lavender but I don't think Lacey will allow that to happen. Lacey's spaniel and dachshund sides make her a hunter. If she sees you fly or crawl near her you are screwed. (The also applies to leaves blowing across the yard and an empty soda can rolling down the street.)

It is my job to flush out prey and protect our borders.

Instead of planting our milkweed seeds in our garden, I got permission to plant the seeds in a more appropriate spot in the woods on the fringe of our neighborhood as April's One Small Green Change. That way everyone can enjoy the butterflies!

If you aren't lucky enough to get free milkweed seeds Amazon sells them for under two bucks here

As a movie tie in, the museum had butterfly sculptures made from recycled materials. This one is my favorite. Who know Ohio license plates could be so pretty?

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