Monarch Watch Spring 2009 Open House

My friend Deb buys some tropical milkweed at the Monarch Watch Spring Open House.  Monarch Watch Director Chip Taylor, at left in the yellow hat, and many volunteers were busy as the crowds snapped up the annuals and perennials.   The sale is a fund-raiser for Monarch Watch and also ios a good way for people to introduce plants for pollinators in their gardens.
My friend Deb buys some tropical milkweed at the Monarch Watch Spring Open House at the University of Kansas on May 9. Monarch Watch Director Chip Taylor, at left in the yellow hat, and many volunteers were busy as the crowd snapped up the pollinator-pleasing annuals and perennials. The sale is a fund-raiser for Monarch Watch and also is a great way for people to introduce plants for pollinators in their gardens.

 It’s estimated that 80 percent of the world’s food crops needs to be pollinated.  Habitat for pollinators is shrinking every year, while the demand for food increases.   Monarch Watch at the University of Kansas in Lawrence is dedicated to promoting education about the biology and conservation of the Monarch butterfly and other pollinators.  It works with children of all ages, involving schools, nature centers and other ogranizations.  For more information, click on Monarch Watch and Pollinator Partnership on my blogroll.  If you buy products from Amazon.com, you can also benefit Monarch Watch by clicking on the amazon portal on the Monarch Watch website to buy.  There won’t be an additional cost to you.

 The following are photographs from the open house on May 9, except the last one which was taken in my backyard.

These Monarch Butterfly Chrysalides look like jade beans, trimmed with a thin stripe of gold leaf.  They'll be placed in containers when it's time for the butterflies to emerge.

These Monarch Butterfly chrysalides look like jade beads, trimmed with a thin stripe of gold leaf. They'll be placed in containers when it's time for the butterflies to emerge. The butterflies are then released, where hopefully they'll find food and habitat. Because of increasing development and changing farming practices, habitat and food sources for Monarchs are rapidly decreasing.

Children have a good time at the open house, where there are plenty of fun science-related activities....and cookies, too!

Children have a good time at the open house, where there are plenty of fun science-related activities....and cookies, too! Monarch Watch promotes education about and conservation of pollinating insects and other pollinating animals.

Visitors choose their Monarch Butterfly caterpillars, which you could buy when you bought a milkweed plant.  There were dozens of caterpillars munching away on milkweed in the white tub.

Visitors choose their Monarch Butterfly caterpillars, available for sale when you bought a milkweed plant. There were dozens of caterpillars munching away on milkweed in the white tub.

 

These Monarch caterpillars await adoption.  People who bought milkweed plants could also buy caterpillars to take home to live in on the newly purchased milkweed plants in their gardens.

These Monarch caterpillars await adoption. People who bought milkweed plants could also buy caterpillars to take home to live on the newly purchased milkweed plants in their gardens.

Monarch Butterflies are busy in the mating enclosure.

Monarch Butterflies are busy in the mating enclosure.

 Monarch Butterfly drops by to say hello to a young visitor.

A Monarch Butterfly says hello to a young visitor.

 

Thie honey bee dropped by the open house to visit some chive blossoms in the pollination garden.

This honey bee dropped by the open house to visit some chive blossoms in the pollination garden.

MonarchButterflies weren't the only stars of the open house.  Here are some silkworms.

Monarch Butterflies weren't the only stars of the open house. Here are some silkworms.

 

Honey Bees thrive in a hive at Monarch Watch headquarters, which promotes education adn conservation of all pollinating insects and other animals.

Honey bees thrive in a hive at Monarch Watch headquarters, which is on the west campus of the University of Kansas.

 

The Monarch Watch open house offered a wide range of annual and perennial nectar and food plants for butterflies and caterpillars.

The Monarch Watch open house offered a wide range of annual and perennial nectar and food plants for butterflies and caterpillars.

 

Not just caterpillars turn into butterflies.

Not just caterpillars turn into butterflies.

 

The Monarch Watch pollination garden is planted to attract and feed butterflies, bees and other pollinators, but it attracted me, too.  Isn't it lucky that plants for pollinators are also beautiful!

The Monarch Watch pollination garden is planted to attract and feed butterflies, bees and other pollinators, but it attracted me, too. Isn't it lucky that plants for pollinators are also beautiful!

 

Here's "Reggie," the Monarch caterpillar I bought, at home on a milkweed in my garden.

Here's "Reggie," the Monarch caterpillar I bought, at home on a milkweed in my garden.

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10 Comments

Filed under Animals, Butterflies, Conservation, Education, Environment, Food, Gardening, Insects, Kansas, Life, Natural History, Nature, Personal, Photography, Science, University of Kansas

10 responses to “Monarch Watch Spring 2009 Open House

  1. I love monach butterflies. For me they always signaled summer was well on the way.
    For some reason the caterpillars are cheerful too.
    Cheers

  2. Hello Catherine

    Great to see the record of your visit. I hope to get there one day too.

    We work for the Monarch butterfly here in New Zealand, in some ways similar to Monarch Watch but our migration is not half as exciting.

    NZ is about the same size as the state of Colorado, so when we do find where they overwinter, it won’t be anything like the discovery of the Mexican overwintering grounds – but it will be big news just the same.

    Jacqui

    Hi, Jacqui, Great to hear from you! Thanks for your wonderful comment. I visited New Zealand in February. It’s a stunningly beautiful country — as you know! Chip Taylor has mentioned you. I hadn’t known that Monarchs were in NZ. I hope you visit here, too. I’d love to meet you. Cathy

  3. What a fantastic post!!! Beautiful, educational, fascinating! What you’re doing (and promoting) just further demonstrates what a wonderful, caring, conscientious person you are. Admirable.

    Thanks, Kenna! I’m grateful that Monarch Watch is so close. Cathy

  4. Great stuff.

    Spawn and I will be participating in the annual migration tagging again this year. Whether the kid wants to or not.

    Because I am all about the education.

    Thanks! I hope I’m able to go to the tagging in our area this September. I haven’t been to one yet. Cathy

  5. Gorgeous!!!
    What a blessing to have such a great resource. I am hopeful that more people will use less chemicals and things that harm the enviorment and really see the beauty in simple love of nature.
    When your butterfly flaps her wings I know she will create gentle breezes around the world.

  6. Thanks for a most interesting post! That kid is just great behind the placard, and kudos to the creator of that Monarch fun!

  7. Now that had me riveted. Thanks Cathy for your interpretation of what looks like a very well organised and informative day – how good that everyone could take home something of interest (literally or otherwise).

  8. I loved the larvae photos. The green, fresh, worminess of it all really was wonderful. I’m glad someone is celebrating and protecting the pollinators. We couldn’t eat much without them!

  9. Pingback: Survivor — Caterpillar Version « Catherine Sherman

  10. Kathy

    This is a great site! I’m trying to learn as much as I can about Monarchs. You see, for the last 4 years I have found a caterpillar to start off my preschool year. The children get very excited watching its’ different stages. We have fun naming the butterfly before we release it to fly south.

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