Bees and butterflies usually take over the yard this time of year when the purple and yellow asters are in full bloom. The bees are here in full force, but I have only seen two or three monarchs and one swallowtail the entire flowering season.
I noticed a ‘growth’ of some sort on the under leaf of a milkweed and was very excited thinking it might be a chrysalis, but unfortunately not. Apparently, the noticeable decline this year in my yard, is alarmingly typical everywhere else too.
A few years ago, I made an effort to plant milkweeds specifically for the Monarchs, and have since seen milkweeds everywhere it seems, so I’m surprised to hear there are still too few to attract the species according to entomologists. The real culprit may be the horrendous clear cutting taking place in Mexico, which is destroying the very trees they migrate to for wintering over. I can’t believe I’m witnessing such a decline. I hate to think that each of my garden companions could disappear one by one.
Here’s an interesting article about locating and harboring Monarch eggs: http://texasbutterflyranch.com/2011/07/31/butterfly-faq-is-relocating-a-monarch-chrysalis-ok-yes-and-heres-tips-on-how-to-handle-them-with-care/