Monarch Butterfly Release Engages Visitors

Visitors to a Monarch butterfly release on September 29 were invited to become part of the event.

Monarchs are released by visitors to begin their journey to Mexico.

Monarchs are released by visitors to begin their journey to Mexico.

On an overcast gray day, Vaughn Erickson had a surprise for Master Gardeners and others today for a Monarch release at the Franklin County Pollinator Garden. He had freshly hatched Monarchs gently placed inside folded paper envelopes and explained how they are released by unfolding the paper.

He then handed out the 12 envelopes to the visitors to unfold and release. An amazing moment for those who opened the paper as the butterflies stretched their wings and took flight. Some were able to follow their butterfly to nearby tithonia flowers and others watched as the Monarchs floated around the flowers and plants in the pollinator garden.

This generation of Monarchs will make the trip to overwinter in Mexico. Depending on temperature and wind conditions it takes an average of two months for them to travel from our area to arrive at the forest high in the mountains of Mexico.

Thank you, Vaughn, for the opportunity to be part of this miraculous part of nature. This was just an awesome experience.