Monarch butterflies have arrived!
by Ramey Shirah
Monarch butterflies are beginning to show up along the southern coast and that can only mean one thing… Fall is here! The butterflies are migrating to their overwintering sites in Mexico and some fly as far as 3,000 miles to reach their new homes. It is up to us to help these beautiful pollinators by planting and preserving their only known food source, their host plant, asclepias. There are over 20 varieties of native asclepias in the United States, also known as “milkweed,” and monarch butterflies cannot live without it. Monarchs can only lay their eggs on milkweed plants, and unfortunately, the plants are being destroyed by overdevelopment and the use of commercial herbicides. Be a friend to the migrating monarchs (and other butterflies too) and plant some milkweed in your garden today!
Monarchs in the News –
Link to video featuring University of Georgia monarch study: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2012/06/how-pathogens-spread-among-migrating-butterflies.html
A Field Guide to Georgia Milkweeds: http://www.eealliance.org/assets/Documents/MAG/field_guide.pdf
Ramey Shirah is a Southern Coterie contributor and also has a conservation blog “Golden Isles Insider”. She has an exquisite eye for photography and a big heart for conservation and nature and combines both on her blog and twitter feed: www.goldenislesinsider.com and @goldenislesGA.