MONARCH BUTTERFLIES

“I’ve been asked if it really matters if the monarch disappears, and whether or not we should care. The truth is that it does matter. There are reasons that we should care about this butterfly and they extend beyond the monarch itself. Perhaps the universe is using this beautiful creature to get our attention and draw us to more important matters. Maybe the monarch is merely the messenger in a world that is changing, and those changes aren’t always beneficial to the earth and those of us who inhabit it. Margaret Mead once said “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Imagine what we can do together.”  –  Kylee Baumle, author of ‘The Monarch, Saving Our Most-Loved Butterfly’

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Monarch populations have declined by 90% in the last 20 years and they are currently on the waiting list for protection as endangered species (they nearly made it on the list in December 2020, and remain a candidate). The majority of native plants growing on our farm are milkweed, which is the host plant for monarch butterflies. Common and swamp milkweed grow wild, which we assist them in by releasing seeds from their pods each fall. We have also started many swamp and butterfly milkweed plants from seed and then transplanted them out. Each year, our kids help us raise one monarch inside, so that we all watch it grow and change through each life stage. Observing the transition is magical every time! There are many books on how to do this, so check your library if you’re interested in learning more. I’ll also be blogging on this topic from time to time and hope to give away a lot of milkweed seed this coming fall. Stay tuned.

The photos in this database were all taken at Mossycup Farm in Granville Township, Ohio by myself (Jes Padgett) and should not be used without permission – just ask. These photos were shot with my iPhone, other than one or two which were shot with a Canon EOS 450D that I really need to learn. A handy little gadget I used for some of these photos is a macro lens clip that attaches right onto your phone and allows for detailed zoom shots (see first photo ‘monarch egg’). This fairly inexpensive tool is kind of a big deal, so definitely check it out if you love photographing tiny things!

This website and this page are a work in progress. I’ll be adding more info soon!

Thanks for visiting and I hope you’ll enjoy this gallery as much as we enjoyed putting it together!  –  Jes

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