Vanishing

Joe has been going on butterfly hunts.

He arms himself with a butterfly net and his bug house.

He takes his trusty assistant along with him and hunts the property.

He’s found two small butterflies, but is concerned that there are no monarchs on our land.

“Where are they?” he asks every time he trudges back to the house, his net dragging on the ground.

Last picture we snapped taken in October 2014.

Well, they’ve been having a bit of trouble getting back to Illinois. Milkweed, where they lay their eggs, is disappearing and difficult to find. Why?

Pesticides are a big factor.

One article I read states that butterflies have to cross “the corn/soybean desert” on their migration from Mexico to Illinois. Steps are being taken to plant milkweed along roadsides, but I’m not sure how much good that would do. Won’t it die out again when the pesticides start hitting fields?

We only saw 1 monarch butterfly last year on our property. Just one. I think we saw 2 or 3 the year before.

We have, or had, a lot of milkweed in our back pasture, but it seems we have less every year. Right now, I don’t see any growing. Usually, we don’t start seeing it until late Spring though. So we still have time. We don’t need to worry…yet.

Deep orange and black wings
The monarchs are vanishing
Never to be seen

3 responses to “Vanishing

  1. I’m doing my part. I have some milkweed plants in my front yard garden. Asclepius also grows wild in my area. It’s still just coming up, though. I haven’t seen any blooming, but I think it’s too early.

    • I think so too. It didn’t start showing up last year until late May/early June. We used to have a ton of it in our back pasture.

      Thank you for the heads up on asclepius! I see it in our pasture but didn’t know what it was.

  2. Pingback: Milkweed and Mistakes | a pinch of homestead

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