X (he? she?) is gracing the sanctuary of our entryway garden, munching on the Milkweed that sustains it. Unless we dissect X, we won’t know the sex until a butterfly is formed (female Monarchs have broader wing veins, and males have two dots on their lower wings. The chrysalis can also be inspected and very clever folks can determine the sex that way). X might get eaten, but if they can survive another week or so and form a chrysalis, and then another week and half or so, we should a have brand new Monarch butterfly flying our meadow. X will probably be staying in the area and will seek a mate. That next generation will be the one doing the long journey to the Mexican highland area where they will over-winter.
Butterflies and many other pollinators are really starting to show up in big numbers in our meadow. If you take a few minutes to check out the meadow flowers, you will see some loaded with different bees and other flyers. The meadow biomass converts sun energy through photosynthesis into sugars eaten by small insects, which in turn are eaten by larger insects and then of course birds and higher level predators. We are hoping to encourage a variety of native plants and trees, insects, birds, reptiles and small mammals on the church grounds. Unfortunately, we can’t just let nature take its course, unless we are willing to settle for an ugly mess of alien trees and vines which will quickly overrun our property.
We would love to show you our meadow and woodlot any Wednesday evening between 6:00 and 7:00, and there might be a Monarch chrysalis or a caterpillar for you to check out. There are plenty of alien/invasive plants that need to be pulled or dug out if you would like to get some exercise and help out.
SAVE THE DATE:
AUTUMNAL EQUINOX GATHERING
SATURDAY EVENING, SEPTEMBER 22, 6:30 PM
IN THE MEMORIAL GARDEN