Hail Yes!

We were visited by yet another female Monarch this season AND this time she left some gifts...106 eggs.  This is actually the 1st time ever that I have recorded a female laying eggs at the farm.  I reliably get them at our store's Monarch Waystation 6 miles away...but only the occasional visitor here. 
Part of it, has been my determination to redeveloped the gardens to encourage just this and I think I finally struck the right balance between host and nectar plants.  A couple curious things happened...for one, it was a miracle I was there to witness it.  Second, our mama monarch had four different milkweeds to try...regular tropical milkweed, swan plant, aquatic milkweed and a new variegated tropical milkweed, called Charlotte's Blush.  She chose only Charlotte's Blush.  This became apparent in the evening when I began to separate the eggs.
Eggs are well camouflaged on these beautiful variegated leaves.  Eggs laid on the yellow parts were almost invisible.  This plant has only been a limited release on the market for maybe two years, if that, and this lady adapted, yes adaptation right here!  I called my spouse over and we just held the little egg on the leaf in awe!  The other final insight, was she stayed for hours, mainly because she had plenty to eat...lantana, plumbago, porterweed, cardinal flower.  I recently learned that Mosquitoes need to feed (bite us!) before they lay eggs...so, I think this is happening with our Monarchs too.

I know in bird watching, we learn, when we see and observe a bird, we are part of a short conversation.  One where we have to figure out what's being said.  I think that's true here (and probably of everything, right?)    For me, she told me to be resourceful and resilient! 

And, if you are curious where to find Charlotte's Blush, please visit Shady Oaks Butterfly Farm.  They have limited stock, when it's available, do not hesitate...the plants came very well established and healthy and as you know now, preferred by Monarchs.

~Lisa

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