Debbie - I can picture your caterpillar drive with a little chuckwagon of milkweed!
It is good to hear that the numbers are up all over the province.
We continue to see many monarchs in our day-tripping around the province. We were back up the Bruce Peninsula and around the Guelph area were the monarch per mile rule seemed to apply. The butterflies continue to visit our own garden and while sitting on a bench observing the activity, it became clear that the wandering females must use the visual appearance to locate the milkweeds. We have a lot of a tuberous sunflower-like plant (Jerusalem articoke) that, at this stage looks a lot like a possible milkweed (more like swamp milkweeds), and these are throughout the garden. The butterflies drift and swoop, looking for milkweeds, and they are attracted to these plants too, but after a quick touch with their feet, they continue on until they find a real milkweed.
There have been so many monarchs, that they are even making the television news. Global TV ran a story about the great number of monarchs around the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) and gave a fair bit of background information about the life cycle.
The following is passed on from an e-mail from Donald Davis of Toronto......
Marco Kennema, a young 18 year old butterfly breeder from Breslau, Ontario near Cambridge, now reading hundreds and hundreds of monarchs and a few other species, will be this Thursday morning (Aug. 3rd) on national television.
His father has to bring him to CITY-TV for the "Breakfast Television" Show (also seen on some A-Channel stations) at 6.30AM. He will be
announced shortly after 7 AM and interviewed between 7.30 and 8.30 AM.
He will bring caterpillars, chrysallis and butterflies and of course butterfly and hummingbird attracting plants!
Marco will have lots of larva this month to sell to teachers. They have also constructed a new large butterfly house next to the Naturium building near
Breslau, Ontario (just west of Guelph and south of Hwy. 7 on Shantz Station road). Inside are many nectar sources and food plants for the many butterflies flying free inside.
Marco can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
It is good to see the monarchs getting so much publicity.