Monday, March 27, 2017

Monarch Butterflies

I am a member of the Oklahoma Home and Community Education (OHCE) group nearby.  Every month we have a lesson about something that matters.  This month our lesson was the decline of Monarch Butterflies! 

The ladies in the group all sign up for different lessons and are trained to give them.  Jessica chose our lesson on butterflies.  

We have other ladies that sign up for the refreshments.  This month I signed up for them.  I like to do something different, so I decided to cut melons like butterflies: 

I bought bright cupcakes with the intent of putting edible monarch butterflies on them but my butterflies didn't come in before our lesson.  Oh well, I have other plans for them now!  Instead, I 'planted' flowers on them:

Jessica gave the most awesome lesson on the butterflies!  I am posting this picture specifically so you can see the Monarch caterpillar and protect it!  We want to rebuild our monarchs!

Here is the flyer that Jessica passed out for our lesson - it has some great information for us!

Did you know Monarchs only eat milkweed?  And only specific kinds of milkweed!  We all need to plant one or two plants to help save the Monarchs!

Our Monarch population had declined in the last 20 years from 1 billion butterflies to less than 30 million?  This decline is due to loss of habitat, loss of food (milkweed), pesticides and storms!  I had no idea that a Mexican storm had killed 500,000,000 (that is 500 MILLION) butterflies in 2002! 

But Monarchs love flowers.. they drink the nectar, so be sure and plant flowers as well! 

Here is a FEMALE Monarch:

Note the difference in the MALE Monarch: The wing shape at the top and look for the two black dots on the bottom wings...  That is how you distinguish a male from a female!

I love being a member of OHCE.  We have a wondeful group of ladies - and there are many other groups as well statewide.  Oklahoma State University hosts this outreach.  They do a great job preparing us for our lessons, hosting local, district and state meetings and giving us a wealth of knowledge to share with the world.  Today, I hope by me sharing this Monarch information you will be aware of the critical status of our precious butterflies.  

Please plant milkweed, keep and eye out for those gorgeous caterpillars 
- and watch for the wings of beauty! Let's bring 'em back!

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