“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” – Maya Angelou
On Wednesday, June 18 2014, the “We Dig Pollinators” team celebrated our Monarch Waystation certification with a brief ceremony in front of 60 Master Gardeners, friends and family.
We briefly thanked all of the sources of our research and support – especially the Carolina Butterfly Society. We also credited Monarch Watch, the Pollinator Partnership, All-a-Flutter Butterfly Farm, and of course NC Cooperative Extension, Guilford County Center. (Note these are links to their websites for more information).
Then the unveiling!
The best part of the ceremony, though, was about to take place – the release of 50 monarch butterflies! The butterflies had been sleeping in a cooler overnight, and we warmed them up gradually in the shade before the release. We passed the individually boxed butterflies out to everyone for the mass release – once we counted to 3, everyone opened their boxes, and the butterflies flew upward pretty quickly before settling on flowers and taking some long drinks of nectar – they were really hungry!
Several photographers contributed their photos of the monarchs below on zinnia, aster, rose campion, blazing star, and lantana.
We’re now scouting for eggs on our milkweed, and eventually – caterpillars! Stay tuned for news and more photos.
Our first bamboo trellis also made it’s debut on Wednesday, and we’re collecting more donated bamboo for our next one. Here are some of Catherine’s trellis design sketches, and the first finished product – come on out and see the vines as they grow!