Monarchs are well known to travel thousands of miles each fall as they make their trek from southern Canada and the United States to winter over in Mexico and Coastal California. It is during the following spring that butterflies’ start to make the return trip north. They fly a few hundred miles, lay eggs and then die. Their offspring then flies a few hundred miles north, lay eggs and die (the adults live only 2-6 weeks). This is repeated up to 7 times (Flights). Then the final flight again returns to Mexico to winter over.
We learned that it takes between one to two months for a complete cycle of egg, to lava, to chrysalis, to butterfly and then back to egg.
The identification of the Monarch lead us to a desire to want to know more about every butterfly that was common in Florida. We began a quest to learn more about host plants and what was needed to draw in and also raise particular butterflies. Like so many others around us, we decided that we wanted a “butterfly garden”. “How hard could this be?”, we thought to ourselves. You simply plant some so called butterfly plants and in will come the butterflies. Well, we found it takes a little more than that, but you get the general idea. On the following pages, we will share our love and experiences of this great hobby.
A MOMENT AT MONARCH MANOR . . .
First of all, some history. We live in southwest Florida so much of the information in this website, is germaine to this region. We began raising butterflies several years ago. It all began when we became mesmerized by the mighty Monarch butterfly as it gracefully fluttered through our yard one summer day. It was the first butterfly that we identified and began to learn anything about. We also found its chrysalis on the tropical milkweed and watched in fascination as it “hatched” into a adult. Later we found the eggs and larvae on those same milkweeds.