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Category Archives: Milkweed

A common sight this time of year as the seed pods open up.

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Milkweed

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Opening of the milkweed seed pods are a sure sign of fall on the farm.

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The White Water Lilies were blooming. Since they are fairly fresh it was easy to find some to photograph that were not covered with bugs or debris.

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The Milkweed and the Common and Swamp Milkweed were starting to bloom. We did see a few Monarch Butterflies throughout the Meadows.

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Butterfly weed was blooming throughout the Meadows.

Common Eastern Bumblebee

We found quite a few other flowers blooming. Check the Crex Meadows website for a list of currently blooming flowers.

Wood Rose

Wood Rose

Wood Lily

Wood Lily

Hoary Puccoon

Hoary Puccoon

Harebell

Harebell

Lots of insects around the farm in late summer. It won’t be long and they will all be gone. The Wooly Bear Caterpillars are all over the place now. I thought I had seen the last of the Monarch Caterpillars several weeks ago but this one turned up a couple of days ago. I doubt he will make it.

Red-legged Grasshopper

Red-legged Grasshopper

Wooly Bear Caterpillar

Wooly Bear Caterpillar

Monarch Caterpillar

Monarch Caterpillar

Common Green Bottle Fly

Common Green Bottle Fly

 

Stink Bug

Stink Bug

Walking around my Prairie the last few weeks turned up a number of different insects.

Honey Bee

Honey Bee

Grasshopper

Grasshopper

Milkweed Bug

Milkweed Bug

Monarch Caterpillar and Milkweed Beetle

Monarch Caterpillar and Milkweed Beetle

 

I have been finding a lot of Milkweed Bugs around the farm this fall.

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As I noted in an earlier blog, this has been a great year for Monarch Caterpillars. At the end of August I was tracking six caterpillars at several locations in my prairie. On September first they all disappeared. I tried finding them in the surrounding weeds but didn’t have any luck. Within the next several weeks there should be a large number of Monarch Butterflies turning up in the Prairie.

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This has been an excellent year for photographing Monarch Caterpillars. It has been quite a few years since I have been able to find so many of them. This is the batch of Monarchs that will be starting their migration to Mexico in a few weeks.

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What is interesting to me is that I found most of these on Milkweed plants that had been mowed down earlier in the summer so these were sort of a second generation plant. I suspect they were newer and much tastier than the older plants.

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A few years ago I found a similar situation. I had a large number of Milkweed plants in my garden. When I decided to eradicate them I found it was almost impossible. I took three years of constant hoeing to get rid of all of them. Every week there would be new plants. Even though the plants were only a few inches tall I started finding Monarch Caterpillars on them. Every time I went out to work in the garden I had to look for the caterpillars and move them before I could hoe.

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The Common Milkweed is just about done blooming for the season. I have a large patch of it growing in my prairie area on the farm. I’m hoping for a large batch of Monarchs for trip south.

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A walk along the Red Cedar State Trail revealed a number of things. These are the remains of last year’s milkweed crop.

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What little water there is in the ditches along the trail is already starting to grow over with slime.

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The Skunk Cabbage is growing well in various locations along the trail.

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