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Posts Tagged: milkweed

Welcome to the World of Monarchs, Greta!

This monarch caterpillar was reared from an egg collected on a tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica, in a Vacaville pollinator garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Welcome to the world of monarchs, Greta! We don't normally name the monarch butterflies we rear, but we decided that the first one reared from an egg "The Greg Way" would be...

This monarch caterpillar was reared from an egg collected on a tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica, in a Vacaville pollinator garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
This monarch caterpillar was reared from an egg collected on a tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica, in a Vacaville pollinator garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This monarch caterpillar was reared from an egg collected on a tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica, in a Vacaville pollinator garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The newly eclosed monarch caterpillar named
The newly eclosed monarch caterpillar named "Greta" latches onto a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundiflora. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The newly eclosed monarch caterpillar named "Greta" latches onto a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundiflora. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Greta, a monarch butterfly reared from an egg, is anxious to get where she's going. And fast. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Greta, a monarch butterfly reared from an egg, is anxious to get where she's going. And fast. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Greta, a monarch butterfly reared from an egg, is anxious to get where she's going. And fast. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Monarch butterflies start out as a near microscopic egg. This image was taken with a Canon MPE-65mm lens. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Monarch butterflies start out as a near microscopic egg. This image was taken with a Canon MPE-65mm lens. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Monarch butterflies start out as a near microscopic egg. This image was taken with a Canon MPE-65mm lens. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

After hatching from egg to larva (caterpillar), it eats its shell and then begins munching on milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
After hatching from egg to larva (caterpillar), it eats its shell and then begins munching on milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

After hatching from egg to larva (caterpillar), it eats its shell and then begins munching on milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The monarch caterpillar munches milkweed; it will go through  five instars. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The monarch caterpillar munches milkweed; it will go through five instars. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The monarch caterpillar munches milkweed; it will go through five instars. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The jade-green monarch chrysalis is one of nature's jewels. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The jade-green monarch chrysalis is one of nature's jewels. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The jade-green monarch chrysalis is one of nature's jewels. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 3:04 PM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture, Economic Development, Environment, Natural Resources, Yard & Garden

A Bee-Line Toward the Tropical Milkweed

A honey bee forages on tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica, in a Vacaville pollinator garden on July 27. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Honey bees just can't get enough of our tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica. We plant three species of milkweed (the host plant for the monarchs), but both...

A honey bee forages on tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica, in a Vacaville pollinator garden on July 27. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A honey bee forages on tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica, in a Vacaville pollinator garden on July 27. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A honey bee forages on tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica, in a Vacaville pollinator garden on July 27. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A honey bee makes a beeline for the tropical milkweed,Asclepias curassavica. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A honey bee makes a beeline for the tropical milkweed,Asclepias curassavica. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A honey bee makes a beeline for the tropical milkweed,Asclepias curassavica. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Honey bee nectaring on the tropical milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Honey bee nectaring on the tropical milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Honey bee nectaring on the tropical milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Up, up and away toward the next tropical milkweed blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Up, up and away toward the next tropical milkweed blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Up, up and away toward the next tropical milkweed blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Honey bee takes flight, returning to her colony. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Honey bee takes flight, returning to her colony. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Honey bee takes flight, returning to her colony. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 3:47 PM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture, Environment, Food, Innovation, Natural Resources, Yard & Garden

Milkweed: A Honey Bee's Floral Trap

A honey bee stuck in milkweed pollinia. This plant is  the narrowleaf milkweed,Asclepias fascicularis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

It is not a "pretty sight," as Ernest Hemingway might have said, to see a honey bee stuck like glue--nature's "gorilla glue?"-in the reproductive chamber of a milkweed. It's...

A honey bee stuck in milkweed pollinia. This plant is  the narrowleaf milkweed,Asclepias fascicularis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A honey bee stuck in milkweed pollinia. This plant is the narrowleaf milkweed,Asclepias fascicularis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A honey bee stuck in milkweed pollinia. This plant is the narrowleaf milkweed,Asclepias fascicularis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A honey bee struggles to free herself from the sticky nectar trough of a milkweed plant, Asclepias fascicularis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A honey bee struggles to free herself from the sticky nectar trough of a milkweed plant, Asclepias fascicularis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A honey bee struggles to free herself from the sticky nectar trough of a milkweed plant, Asclepias fascicularis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Almost free! A honey bee works to free herself from the sticky nectar trough of a milkweed plant, Asclepias fascicularis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Almost free! A honey bee works to free herself from the sticky nectar trough of a milkweed plant, Asclepias fascicularis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Almost free! A honey bee works to free herself from the sticky nectar trough of a milkweed plant, Asclepias fascicularis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Death trap: This bee couldn't free herself from the sticky milkweed blossom of a Asclepias fascicularis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Death trap: This bee couldn't free herself from the sticky milkweed blossom of a Asclepias fascicularis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Death trap: This bee couldn't free herself from the sticky milkweed blossom of a Asclepias fascicularis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, August 17, 2020 at 12:00 PM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture, Economic Development, Environment, Natural Resources, Yard & Garden

A Monarch Is Like a Stained Glass Window

A monarch butterfly, looking like a stained glass window, rises from a tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica, on Aug. 7 in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Ever seen a back-lit monarch butterfly? It's like a stained-glass window in a centuries-old steepled church where you cannot see the ugliness of the world, but its...

A monarch butterfly, looking like a stained glass window, rises from a tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica, on Aug. 7 in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A monarch butterfly, looking like a stained glass window, rises from a tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica, on Aug. 7 in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A monarch butterfly, looking like a stained glass window, rises from a tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica, on Aug. 7 in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Up, up and away. The monarch rises from a tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica, on Aug. 7 in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Up, up and away. The monarch rises from a tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica, on Aug. 7 in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Up, up and away. The monarch rises from a tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica, on Aug. 7 in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Tuesday, August 11, 2020 at 4:10 PM
Focus Area Tags: Environment, Natural Resources, Yard & Garden

A Monarch Paradise in July

A monarch caterpillar molting. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Monarchs, bless their little hearts, souls and wings, deposited 16 eggs on our milkweed plants in July.  Being quite obliging and considerate, we like to give the...

A monarch caterpillar molting. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A monarch caterpillar molting. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A monarch caterpillar molting. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A monarch caterpillar j'ing; soon it will be a chrysalis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A monarch caterpillar j'ing; soon it will be a chrysalis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A monarch caterpillar j'ing; soon it will be a chrysalis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

From left, a chrysalis about to release a monarch; an empty chrysalis or empty pupal exoskeleton, exuvia; a chrysalis; and an newly eclosed adult monarch. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
From left, a chrysalis about to release a monarch; an empty chrysalis or empty pupal exoskeleton, exuvia; a chrysalis; and an newly eclosed adult monarch. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

From left, a chrysalis about to release a monarch; an empty chrysalis or empty pupal exoskeleton, exuvia; a chrysalis; and an newly eclosed adult monarch. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A newly eclosed female monarch on a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A newly eclosed female monarch on a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A newly eclosed female monarch on a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A female monarch nectaring on a tropical milkweed. This milkweed yielded five caterpillars. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A female monarch nectaring on a tropical milkweed. This milkweed yielded five caterpillars. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A female monarch nectaring on a tropical milkweed. This milkweed yielded five caterpillars. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 at 3:04 PM
Focus Area Tags: Environment, Food, Natural Resources, Pest Management, Yard & Garden

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