Early December 2020 and just into Summer, yet we're barely seeing any butterflies in our little far north corner of New Zealand. Yesterday, to my delight, this lovely female Monarch purposefully flew about the garden enjoying nectar from the Verbena flowers and also flowers on the yellow Daisy Bush. She really was positive in her flight path, swinging between the flowers, up and over the roof of out house, then back to the flowers.
Yesterday we went to a nearby beach. We're coming into Summer in New Zealand and it was a beautiful sunny day. Right in the middle of the beach is a stream outlet flowing into the sea.
I was taking photos of the beach, while sitting in the grass beside the stream outlet.
As I sat there I saw a Monarch Butterfly flying about and around the trees and plants adjacent to the beach. At one point, as it flew over the top of the stream, it swiftly dropped straight down onto the water and then straight back up again and carried on flying about.
I have never seen a butterfly do that before. Its action was very deliberate, so I have no doubt that it knew exactly what it was doing.
These are pictures of flying Monarchs, for your enjoyment, and not actually the one I saw at the beach.
I love White Butterflies ( Pieris rapae) and today this lovely female came flitting through, ripped wings and all. It really fancied the flowers on our yellow daisy bush and supped on the nectar for quite some minutes. Just lovely.
Here's a cheap and cheerful method of creating a self-watering system for your milkweed, or other plants, seedlings.
The beauty of this system is that -
You will need -
Here I have used 1.5L empty plastic bottles that previously held water. Notice the nice flat sides and a good flat base. I used thin strips of 100% cotton knit fabric for the wicks.
This is a 4L bottle that had previously held water. Notice the square flat base and the straight sides. These bottles are very stable. I tried cotton string as the wick (many strands) but that didn't work so well so I went back to the knit fabric strips. The one I buy is called "Soft Cloth Garden Tie" and comes in a 5m roll. It's normally used as a plant tie. Works well.
These were my first self-watering seedling bottles using 1.5L empty Coke Bottles. Unfortunately, because the base of each bottle was ripple shaped, it meant the bottles were not as stable as they could have been and sometimes they fell over at the slightest movement. In the end I placed them all into a plastic crate as support and that worked reasonably well. I used these bottles several times over, before moving to bottles with a flatter base.
Opua, New Zealand.
Keen butterfly photographer and raises Monarch Butterflies for release.
" I'm crazy about butterflies and enjoy sharing the beauty and wonder of their transformations."
Monarch Caterpillar emerging from egg
Click on video to enlarge
UNRAVELLING MONARCH MYSTERY