Sept. 20, 2017: A Monarch Larva next to the Milkweeds!

Perhaps the best discovery of the morning was this wonderful caterpillar.  His appearance was cause for celebration because this is the first time that we’ve actually been able to document the presence of a monarch butterfly larva in the pollinator garden!  We’ve seen a few adults, but now we know that they’re actually laying eggs on the milkweeds – as well as fluttering around the various nectar-producing flowers.

This distinctly striped fellow was spotted as he moved along the underside of a corn leaf.  The corn plant is growing on a mound that is nearly surrounded by a stand of common milkweed.  (We grow certain native pollinator plants right next to our Native American mounds of corn, beans, and squash.  We’ve found that with some sustained human mediation (i.e. uprooting milkweeds who trespass into the mounds), we can keep all these interesting creatures growing rather well together next to the alley along the southern side of our school.)

The youngsters are lifting the leaf to reveal the larva.