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Post  landarch 8/24/2016, 8:22 am

I only bring the really big caterpillars inside...once they get big they tend to go into chrysalis within a day or two.

I have another big one about ready to go...may bring it in this evening...maybe some smaller ones if predicted heavy storms hit tonight.
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Post  countrynaturals 8/24/2016, 11:16 am

Scorpio Rising wrote:
countrynaturals wrote:When the really big ones crawl away, they're ready to pupate. (When little ones crawl away, they're just lost and need to be put back on their plants.) Good luck with this batch.  Monarch Supporter - Page 5 3170584802 (I have at least 50 in the butterfly house now, pigging out. Rolling Eyes)
How do you feed them all, Suz?  They eat soooo much!
I have about 30 large plants in gallon containers that I move in and out of the butterfly house. I have another 5-6 in various locations around the property, and about an 8' permanent bed in-ground. Last year I still ran out of milkweed and had to feed cucumber and pumpkin at the end -- NOT GOOD! This year, I will gradually cut down my in-ground milkweed and move the cuttings inside so they'll know there's no more room at the inn.

 Nature is cruel. Butterflies lay way too many eggs for the food supply, leaving way too many babies to starve. I went through it in the spring when we ran out of Dutchman's Pipe for the pipevine swallowtails, and again right now, with my passionvine down to sticks and caterpillars still crawling all over it. You must really develop a thick skin to raise butterflies, but I guess that's true about all living things. Death is a part of life, which is something I have a really hard time with. Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad
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Post  Kelejan 8/25/2016, 12:18 am

countrynaturals, yes, Nature is cruel.  I first realised that when I was very young and noticed all the ducks in the pond with their ten or twelve babies paddling after them.

Then I remembered that happened last year and I started to get the idea that they could not all survive.  Then I discussed this thought with my teacher who put me straight about all the lovely little ducks on the pond.  A sad lesson to learn at the age of eight years.

I still grieve when the swallows leave the nest I have had for them these last twenty years, knowing that the swallows on balance can only raise a total of two of their offspring for them to replace themselves otherwise the Earth would be overflowing with swallows and butterflies, and eventually, humans.
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Post  Scorpio Rising 8/25/2016, 10:41 pm

Kelejan wrote:countrynaturals, yes, Nature is cruel.  I first realised that when I was very young and noticed all the ducks in the pond with their ten or twelve babies paddling after them.

Then I remembered that happened last year and I started to get the idea that they could not all survive.  Then I discussed this thought with my teacher who put me straight about all the lovely little ducks on the pond.  A sad lesson to learn at the age of eight years.

I still grieve when the swallows leave the nest I have had for them these last twenty years, knowing that the swallows on balance can only raise a total of two of their offspring for them to replace themselves otherwise the Earth would be overflowing with swallows and butterflies, and eventually, humans.
Perspective, courtesy of our own high counsel, Kelejan!  So so true.  Wow.  Sad, but it is the way of things.  I too love the helpless, hapless.   And try?  Makes me feel better.  And I might make a difference.
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Post  countrynaturals 8/26/2016, 12:47 am

Scorpio Rising wrote:
Kelejan wrote:countrynaturals, yes, Nature is cruel.  I first realised that when I was very young and noticed all the ducks in the pond with their ten or twelve babies paddling after them.

Then I remembered that happened last year and I started to get the idea that they could not all survive.  Then I discussed this thought with my teacher who put me straight about all the lovely little ducks on the pond.  A sad lesson to learn at the age of eight years.

I still grieve when the swallows leave the nest I have had for them these last twenty years, knowing that the swallows on balance can only raise a total of two of their offspring for them to replace themselves otherwise the Earth would be overflowing with swallows and butterflies, and eventually, humans.
Perspective, courtesy of our own high counsel, Kelejan!  So so true.  Wow.  Sad, but it is the way of things.  I too love the helpless, hapless.   And try?  Makes me feel better.  And I might make a difference.
Same here. All I can do is count my successes and be satisfied that they far outweigh my failures, so I can keep doing what I do. Sad
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Post  Scorpio Rising 8/26/2016, 8:35 pm

Yep!  Regrets are inevitable, but those with a helping mentality do better at night, and in the end feeling good about thins.  Jjust do what you can when you can.


Last edited by Scorpio Rising on 8/26/2016, 8:36 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo?)
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Post  Kelejan 8/27/2016, 3:20 pm

I will still keep my swallow nesting box.  Perhaps their progeny will be the ones to inherit the swallows' world.
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Post  countrynaturals 9/2/2016, 12:15 am

Very sad couple of days in the butterfly house. I'm losing so many I may quit this gig altogether.  Sad Sad Sad I think they have OE. The poor little things fall out of their chrysalides and even if I rescue them, they're too weak to fly.  Sad Sad Sad
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Post  sanderson 9/2/2016, 3:01 am

Sad Do you have a County Extension that could check one for the protozoa? It looks like it takes a microscope to see them. (Like I know what I'm talking about)

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Post  countrynaturals 9/2/2016, 11:45 am

sanderson wrote: Sad  Do you have a County Extension that could check one for the protozoa?  It looks like it takes a microscope to see them.  (Like I know what I'm talking about)
I still have 7 more to deal with. I'm so depressed it doesn't matter what's killing them. I just want it to stop. Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad I have very few options: walk away and let nature take its course, cut down all of my milkweed and let nature take its course somewhere else, continue what I'm doing and know I'll have to destroy 40% of what I raise, or sterilize the butterfly house and all of the plants that go into it, then raise only eggs, which I will also have to sterilize before bringing them in -- very labor intensive, but produces great results.
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Post  Scorpio Rising 9/2/2016, 9:28 pm

Suz, just know that no OE is out east....my 2 kids just took wing today after chrysalisized for a couple weeks.  Took the hamper outside. And they flew off...a little wonky, but good.  It was a bit windy but a good day to fledge.  

Stay positive.  Do what you can.  You are my inspiration, and because of you, 2 perfect Monarchs are eating in my yard..and goin to Mexico soon:cheers:

I never ever would have grabbed those 2 cats if you hadn't have PMd me.
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Post  countrynaturals 9/2/2016, 9:49 pm

Scorpio Rising wrote:Suz, just know that no OE is out east....my 2 kids just took wing today after chrysalisized for a couple weeks.  Took the hamper outside. And they flew off...a little wonky, but good.  It was a bit windy but a good day to fledge.  

Stay positive.  Do what you can.  You are my inspiration, and because of you, 2 perfect Monarchs are eating in my yard..and goin to Mexico soon:cheers:

I never ever would have grabbed those 2 cats if you hadn't have PMd me.
Thanks, Scorpio. Now you've made me cry. I love you I released 3 big, beautiful adults, today, and "only" lost one. A lady from NABA reached out to me and explained in great detail how to raise them from eggs, with no parasite problems. I'm going to try that if I get more eggs. It's very labor-intensive, but her success rate is 100% with over 255 releases. That's pretty amazing. She also told me about a FB group you might like, called "The Beautiful Monarch."  I just joined, so if you're interested, maybe I'll see you over there, too.  Monarch Supporter - Page 5 3170584802
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Post  Scorpio Rising 9/2/2016, 10:22 pm

(((((Hugs)))))). OK!  Suz, this is just so cool, the whole thing.  I never would have planted a weed 5 years ago.  But I have 2 kinds going on right now!  It is a movement.  You are a crazy inspiration to people like me!  Oblivious but obliging!  And losing track of my 7 cats this spring...Evil or Very Mad, and you PMing me "nature is cruel"....

You are right!  We can do what we can do.  

Thanks for inspiring me!  
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Post  countrynaturals 9/2/2016, 10:32 pm

Scorpio Rising wrote:(((((Hugs)))))). OK!  Suz, this is just so cool, the whole thing.  I never would have planted a weed 5 years ago.  But I have 2 kinds going on right now!  It is a movement.  You are a crazy inspiration to people like me!  Oblivious but obliging!  And losing track of my 7 cats this spring...Evil or Very Mad, and you PMing me "nature is cruel"....

You are right!  We can do what we can do.  

Thanks for inspiring me!  
I love you
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Post  Scorpio Rising 9/2/2016, 10:54 pm

Absolutely.
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Post  Kelejan 9/2/2016, 11:40 pm

Countrynaturals, so sorry you are losing your Monarchs after all the effort you put in to raising them.

Because of you I have some milkweed growing and hope they survive to next year and grow. Even if they do not attract Monarchs due to being outside their flight part, they will be there for other butterflies and insects.

Don't give up, you may have more success next year.
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Post  countrynaturals 9/3/2016, 11:02 am

Thank you so much for your support, y'all. The last 4 are ready to emerge this morning and I'm dreading it. If any survive, I'll post here. Otherwise, I'll just lick my wounds and move on. I have decided to try the sterilized eggs approach, on a small scale inside, if I find any eggs. If that works out, I will do it in the butterfly house next year.
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Post  Scorpio Rising 9/3/2016, 8:48 pm

OK, sounds like a plan!
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Post  countrynaturals 9/3/2016, 10:24 pm

Released 2 out of 5. That's a whole lot better results than Mother Nature gets. Now they're all gone. No eggs, cats, or chrysalides. I still have a bunch of frits in the butterfly house, munching on cuttings I got from the nursery. Hubby said the naked stems of the passion vine are starting to sprout. If those females start laying eggs again, we're doomed!  affraid
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Post  countrynaturals 9/4/2016, 1:22 pm

I just found out my in-ground milkweed is probably infected with Oe, so I'm cutting it all back, today. Tomorrow, I'll use a mild bleach solution on the stems. Grrrr! Mad
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Post  countrynaturals 3/13/2017, 12:11 pm

This one is just too good not to share. I am FB impaired, so the link just goes to my page, but it's the first one down, today. Otherwise just scroll down to "Butterfly Photobombs Koala."  I love you rofl
https://www.facebook.com/pg/Love-Your-Pet-Expo-Sanctuary-Inc-434917959884955/posts/?ref=page_internal
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Post  Ginger Blue 3/14/2017, 4:47 pm

countrynaturals wrote:This one is just too good not to share. I am FB impaired, so the link just goes to my page, but it's the first one down, today. Otherwise just scroll down to "Butterfly Photobombs Koala."  I love you rofl
https://www.facebook.com/pg/Love-Your-Pet-Expo-Sanctuary-Inc-434917959884955/posts/?ref=page_internal

Oh my goodness; that is SO cute!!!  Musta tickled his nose! I love you
Save
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Post  countrynaturals 3/14/2017, 8:19 pm

Ginger Blue wrote:
countrynaturals wrote:This one is just too good not to share. I am FB impaired, so the link just goes to my page, but it's the first one down, today. Otherwise just scroll down to "Butterfly Photobombs Koala."  I love you rofl
https://www.facebook.com/pg/Love-Your-Pet-Expo-Sanctuary-Inc-434917959884955/posts/?ref=page_internal

Oh my goodness; that is SO cute!!!  Musta tickled his nose! I love you
Save
I'm still laughing about it. Can you imaging getting a video like that by accident? They were just filming the koala and got a real bonus.  lol!
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Post  sanderson 3/16/2017, 3:19 am

Ginger Blue wrote:Oh my goodness; that is SO cute!!!  Musta tickled his nose! I love you
Save
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Post  Scorpio Rising 7/29/2017, 10:58 am

https://i.servimg.com/u/f11/19/25/77/83/img_0310.jpg

Saw him today!  Kinda small, needs to fatten up.  On my swamp milkweed, again.  None on the common variety.
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