Farewell Los Ninos
As the last Monarch rises, Karen Trudo whispers a wish for its safe arrival in Mexico.
Between July 27 and October 10th 2015, the BUDS Gardeners of DuBois raised and released approximately 400 4th Generation Monarch Butterflies from hand collected eggs and caterpillars. Living on the only continent with a Monarch migration, now threatened by chemicals and loss of Milkweed, the members joined a nation of volunteers in helping to rebuild the migrating Monarch population.
BUDS members, Karen Trudo. Marianne Atkinson, Shirley Ogershok and Cheryl Shenkle spent up to 5 hours a day searching fields, cleaning rearing containers, collecting and cleaning milkweed leaves, and transporting the Monarchs to a release location where the public could share the experience. Many times the butterflies would remain calmly on an extended hand before flying away to find nectar and to join other Monarchs on their way southward. The opportunity to hold and release a butterfly was shared by men, women and children who stopped at the BUDS planting beds on Franklin Street to take part in the month-long daily event.
Most of the Butterflies were tagged with University of Kansas identification tags to assist with research into the declining numbers of Monarchs.
When the first masses of 4th Generation Monarchs arrive in Central Mexico around November 1, villagers, city dwellers and tourists celebrate El Dio de Los Muertos, anticipating the arrival of the butterflies and whispered blessings from their ancestors and their friends in the United States.
In February 2016 the Monarchs will stir from their Mexican Highlands hibernations to mate and head north toward Texas laying the eggs of the 1st Generation. From that generation till the 3rd Generation they will continue to fly north in search of milkweed till their descendants land in the Pennsylvania mountains in July to begin the cycle once more.
"This wasn't just about our own experience, it was about giving others joy and new knowledge. A Monarch is a magical creature often seeming to have no other purpose in life than to live as a "Flying Flower of the Spirit"." (Cheryl Shenkle, BUDS Gardeners President) It was an experience members have decided that they want to relive every summer.
Next year the BUDS will be loaning Monarch Raising Kits to those who wish to find eggs or caterpillars, raise them into Chrysalides, then adult butterflies fro public release and education.
If you are interested in joining the project then please contact Cheryl at 371-3322 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org before July 15, 2016.