Monarch Eggs Down 75% from last year in Iowa!
OK, well, if I wasn't panicky enough, today I got news to make me even more so. Dr. Robert Hartzler, ISU Extension Weed Specialist and Professor of Agronomy, informed me that students working on a Monarch project are finding only one quarter of the Monarch eggs they found last year. The blame is being laid on an ice storm that hit their wintering site right about the time they were leaving to come back north. This makes the few that we're seeing out there all the more precious. It also means I'll be ramping up the old mother hen thing with my youngsters. Here's a poor shot of my biggest, which is in its 4th instar stage.
Had one hatch today. Shannon and I just happened to be looking while it was emerging from the egg. Up to 6 caterpillars now (with one egg yet to hatch). I don't see each one every day - I sometimes change leaves every other day - but I can tell if they're thriving by the poop - they're prodigious in that department...