While walking up the ramp leading away from the Butterfly House, I glanced over at the common milkweed that grows in the garden on either side of the ramp. It pays to keep an eye out while walking through this garden, many insects are attracted to milkweed, including monarch butterflies. Nearly everyone knows what a monarch is, if not their entire life cycle. The butterfly and its migrations are well known. But, in case you haven’t been paying attention, here’s aRead more

Maple and Monarchs in Color

There’s color in the leaves and Monarch butterflies are on the move. Maples are currently the main source of the local sylvan color, but we still have a way to go before the full blast of fall hues thrust itself upon us. The peak in Monarch butterfly migration in our area is around the first week in October. It’s never a heavy migration in our area due our geography. It’s the mountains and the coast that see the largest numbers ofRead more

Bald Eagle

Over the past few days, I’ve been seeing reports of increased numbers of raptors moving through various observation sites both in the mountains and along the coast. I also happened to see a report of Monarch butterflies staging at coastal sites, specifically Cape May, NJ. The push is on. This is a time of anxiety for me. The North Carolina Piedmont, as wonderful as it can be, is not exactly a place where one can witness large numbers of birds,Read more

The Monarch and the Skiff

The Monarch caterpillar (Danaus plexippus) that I’ve been monitoring on the Butterfly Weed in Catch the Wind has disappeared. The larva was last seen on 25 September. The next opportunity that I had to check the caterpillar’s whereabouts was the twenty-eighth, three days later. The caterpillar has apparently gone off to pupate. I searched, and searched, and searched, but could not find a chrysalis. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a chrysalis, but that I couldn’t find one. Hopefully, the caterpillarRead more