|Little Portage WA sloughs connect main marshes|
Yesterday (Monday, August 24) was a balmy day here in NW Ohio and some Monarchs were migrating while others were still laying eggs...go figure. I drove to Little Portage Wildlife Area just north of Fremont and collected eggs, tiny hatchlings and several very large Monarch caterpillars about to form a "J" off a single milkweed plant! The plant was in the middle of a mowed path that meanders through Little Portage, so I took them all home before the plow comes along.
|Swamp milkweed abounds along the sloughs at |
Little Portage WA. Female Monarchs frequent them.
While trekking through the area, three Monarch butterflies flew by and I got some nice photos of them. The wetlands through Little Portage were full of Wood ducks and Great Blue herons. A series of narrow sloughs connect the main marshes, making the walks along them interesting, especially if you enjoy watching dragonflies. Swamp milkweed abounds along these sloughs and they are frequented by female Monarchs during the breeding season.
|Large caterpillars and eggs were found on same milkweed|
plants lining the sloughs at Little Portage WA
Back home, I released a female Monarch onto a pot of Black-eyed Susan I keep on the front porch. She was the 112th Monarch I released this year, and I still have 89 chrysalises lining the tops of my plastic aquarium cages that have not yet to eclose. Did I mention the 30+ caterpillars that have yet to form chrysalises, the 10 un-hatched eggs? If they all develop properly, it is projected that 241 Monarch butterflies will be raised and released from my Monarch Waystation No. 163, up from 115 last year.
|I hope to raise and release 241 Monarch butterflies |
from my suburban yard Monarch Waystation No. 163
Out of the releases thus far, 56 were males, 50 were females and 3 are unknown sex because they flew away before I could check. I hope there is a high turnout in Mexico this fall, we shall see!
Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. enjoys his wildlife-friendly suburban yard and is devoted to saving the Monarch butterfly. Contact him on the Secure Contact Form.