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The Monarchs and The Milkweed

birdied

Destrehan, US
759 posts

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birdied Silver Member Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Nikonian since 07th Sep 2009
Tue 14-May-13 11:48 PM | edited Wed 15-May-13 12:13 AM by birdied

This is one of the first and only Monarchs I have seen this year. Last year by this time , I had so many who began their life cycle in my yard on the Mexican Milkweed. Not so this year.

The milkweed is critical to the life cycle of the
monarch. They lay eggs on the underside of leaves. The larva eat the leaves .
They can attach and form the chrysalis and then the cycle begins again.

It has been reported that monarch population is at the lowest it has been in 2 decades.
Drought, early migration due to warm weather are some of the cited reasons.

An alarming cause of decline is the planting of soy beans and corn in the US
farmlands that have been genetically altered to be able to withstand the use of
herbicides. In the past the milkweed would grow between the rows of soy and
corn . Now the herbicides are killing the milkweed and with it the source of
life for the monarch.

It would be a true shame to lose one of the largest migrations in the world.


The chrysalis , larva shots are from last year. Not sure I will have any this year to shoot.

Plant some milkweed

Birdie

Choices Matter

Visit

www.birdied.zenfolio.com


Munching on the Milkweed

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Chrysalis secured to the Milkweed



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Almost ready to emerge ( Milkweed in the background )






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Finally emerging . That is a leg sticking out in the back. Very apropos that a milkweed seed is clinging to the chrysalis.



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One of the only monarchs I have see thus far this year .
Monarch feeding on milkweed




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