Adult Monarch Butterflies are arriving from the south and their caterpillars (larva) are emerging from the first eggs laid here this year. Judging from last year and this summer so far, the Monarchs are making a comeback from reduced populations.
Monarch Butterflies will take nectar from a wide variety of flowers. However -- and here is a big part of the problem -- in the caterpillar stage, they can only eat milkweed leaves and the habitat for that unpopular weed has been shrinking. Here are some caterpillars seen yesterday eating milkweed:
Some reports say that this insect was named a “Monarch” because it is the king of beauty as far as butterflies go. Others say that it received that title to honor King William III of William and Mary fame. In any case, this butterfly is special and so is our neighbor Sherry Streeter who cultivates milkweed to help save the Monarchs. The caterpillars shown above are on Sherry’s plants.