Butterflies Abound!

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Chrysalis found by 6-year-old girl on her birthday at the PPL Lake Wally Butterfly Garden

Ed Wesley’s program on Saturday, September 8 was fantastic! We had 31 eager participants despite the weather forecast of rain and high winds. Milkweed seeds were given out for people to plant in their gardens at home. With milkweed growing, monarch butterflies will be attracted to the location. Milkweed is the other plant that monarchs like to lay their eggs. The young caterpillar eats the milkweed leaves once it emerges from the egg.

Children helped Ed with tag butterflies that will be released on a nice day. The predicted 60 MPH winds would make for a rough start to the long migration to Mexico. A little round tag is stuck to a particular spot on the butterfly’s wing. There is a ton of microscopic information on this tag, used for identifying where the butterfly has come from.

Down at the PPL Butterfly Garden, the audience became the biologists as they searched for butterfly eggs and chrysalises. One little girl, stayed longer than all the rest, found many eggs and even an chrysalis hanging from a blade of grass (as seen above). Ed was so impressed with her enthusiasm, he sent her home with a chrysalis to care for as the caterpillar changes into a beautiful monarch butterfly.

-Jenna Wayne, PPL

If you would like to raise your own caterpillars with a school or scout group, kits are available at many online nature websites. For more information about PPL programs, visit our “Calendar of Events” at pplpreserves.com.

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