Care for Creation

Monarch butterflies will soon be swarming south to escape cold winters in most of the United States. Departing in September and October, they fly as far as 3,000 miles to the warm mountains of Central Mexico, where they cluster and hibernate in oyamel fir trees. Next March, they will begin to breed and start their northward migration. Three generations later, they’re back where they started in the fall.

But numbers of monarchs have declined precipitously because milkweed, the only plant on which they lay their eggs and the only food their caterpillars will eat, is in dangerously short supply. Herbicides and deforestation have reduced their population by an estimated billion butterflies since 1990.

Planting milkweed – in an open space away from mowing, herbicides and pesticides – is a great way to support the monarchs and their incredible journey. To find the variety of milkweed that’s best for your region, click: http://xerces.org/monarch-nectar-plants/. And you can ensure a good supply of food for the adult butterflies by adding native flowers to your garden that will bloom throughout the summer.

 

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