We have had an absolutely beautiful, sunny, dry spring here in Western Wisconsin!
That means.....everything is green and yes, even the weeds are healthy and green! My husband has been working hard here around our yard, weeding and mulching and even pruning our fruit trees! Me.....I took off to our local elementary school to weed our butterfly garden! I facilitate a garden club there for the students.
The garden really needed the attention, as it always does, after a cold Wisconsin winter! In the next month, I'll take about 25 elementary children and plant this garden with the nectar plants needed for the monarchs and other butterflies that visit our neighborhood. The milkweed plants have germinated! Yeah! This means that the monarchs can arrive any time and there will be the host plants for them to lay their eggs and have their larva eat! I love monarchs! They fascinate me! They are incredible creatures. I have read so much about them and have raised them for the last six years that I feel very comfortable speaking about their life cycle, habits, and migrations! In fact, this past Tuesday, in addition to weeding at school, I spoke to a classroom of second graders about this very subject! It is always a joy to see the amazement on their faces when we talk of the incredible journey these amazing creatures take! They also adore seeing the multitude of photographs I have of milkweed, the caterpillars, the chrysalis (pupa), and of course, the beautiful adult butterfly!
In 2008, our school garden was certified by Monarch Watch as a Monarch Way Station! And this past fall, our group participated in the Monarchs in Space Project through Monarch Watch. This was a great way to show the children the entire Monarch Life Cycle during the school year! You can check out the Monarchs In Space project on the Monarch Watch Website at:
And I don't know of any other site that does a better job of following Monarch Migration than Journey North. I will be reporting my milkweed germination tomorrow and hopefully, a monarch sighting in the next month! You can view weekly updates on the Spring Monarch Migration and more at:
So, you can see that Earth Day truly has meaning for me! I am a self-proclaimed conservationist and nature-lover. I like to think that I am making a small difference in our world by insuring a habitat for these beautiful pollinators and planting seeds of caring and knowledge in the children I teach about gardening and butterflies! Happy Earth Day!
I'll leave you with a couple of my favorite pictures of these wonderful creatures! Please visit my shop at; http://carolsjewelryorchard.etsy.com for some nature inspired jewelry and bookmarks featuring butterflies, frogs, and dragonflies.