I too have seen more monarchs this year than the last several, including 7 on plum island yesterday. then today i found THIRTEEN caterpillars on our common milkweed plants (A. syriaca), all tiny. i had given up even looking for them until this year. how great it is to see them possibly bouncing back, despite such a small sample. we'll be monitoring them for sure.
Jim Berry Ipswich, Mass. <jim.berry3...>
----- Original Message ----- From: "Robert Mussey" <mussey.robert...> To: <massbird...> Sent: Thursday, July 27, 2017 2:38 PM Subject: [MASSBIRD] monarch butterflies
> For the first time in years, we've had a good number of monarch > butterflies > this year, perhaps 8-10 so far. They are attracted to the native milkweed > species we've planted, especially swamp milkweed (*Asclepias incarnata*) > which is blooming right now, and orange butterflyweed (*Asclepias > tuberosa*) > which is just finishing blooming. They won't come near the common > milkweed (*Asclepias > syriaca*) we have let go wild here, and which I had always associated with > monarchs, perhaps wrongly. > > Both *tuberosa* (dry sandy, well-drained soils) and *incarnata* (damp > spots, or water regularly) are fairly easy to establish and will self seed > to some extent, which has allowed us to increase the size of our milkweed > patches. > > So, a perhaps little hope here on one front of an otherwise depressing > decline. > > Robert Mussey > near the Blue Hills, Milton >