A NEW EMERGED BUTTERFLY
It was mid morning when the monarch butterfly was born. I had just missed the part where the monarch broke through the chrysalis. I watched as the heavy and wet butterfly clung to a bean stalk. He wouldn’t be able to climb up the stalk because a rabbit had already bitten it off.
I watched as the butterfly painstakingly climbed over to a tall sunflower stalk. Little by little with minute steps the butterfly started to ascend the stalk and reach the needed sunshine in order to dry the soft and wet wings. When dry, wings stiffen and enable a butterfly to fly. The whole process took about three hours.
When the butterfly reached the top of a native sunflower it took its first short flight. Monarchs do not need flower nectar for 24 to 48 hours after they are born. This particular butterfly stayed near the garden for approximately three days. It was joyous to see the same butterfly on the last days of summer. I knew it had to leave shortly because it was born in late August.
Shortly after its first flight, a native bumblebee was seen collecting pollen from a sunflower. Pollen is taken back to a ground nest to feed the bee’s own larvae. Bees are the number one pollinator and butterflies are the second most important pollinator in the world.
Pollinators are necessary to pollinate flowers, crops and fruits and include native bees, butterflies, moths and bats. It is harmful to use herbicides and insecticides on lawns, farm crops, along roadways and in the garden. Insecticides kill larva and adult insects including bees and butterflies. Herbicides kill weeds often eliminating biodiversity of native plants that pollinators need to survive.
Without pollinators, many of the world’s crop species would disappear. This could include foods such as native squash, potatoes, tomatoes and pumpkins. Only the native bumblebee pollinates potatoes and the bumblebee is being used commercially to pollinate tomatoes. According to The Xerces Society, Franklin’s bumblebee is already threatened in California. There are hundreds of native bee species in the United States. Bees need a place to live and they need healthy pollen sources. Won’t you make your garden pollinator friendly? In return, native bees and butterflies will delight you by visiting your garden.