Thanks to garden volunteers Paula Burns, Susan Meyer, and Pat Neyman, the Monarch Waystation by the visitor center parking lot is doing well. Almost all of the 125 native milkweed plugs that were planted in August have become established, and several native nectar plants have been added. Bubbling Ponds steward Rob Gibbs installed stepping stones for the gardeners to help them avoid stepping on tender plants or caterpillars while working in the garden. The volunteers maintain the garden weekly throughout the year. During last week’s group session, we raked leaves and pulled weeds. The garden’s soil is staying moist due to the nearby springs, so we made and added about 4 dozen seedballs filled with locally-collected seeds of moisture-loving native nectar plants.
Visitors to the garden during the fall reported seeing monarchs in flight near the garden and also nectaring on the fall-blooming plants. Other butterfly species observed included Checkered white, Orange sulphur, Sleepy orange, Western pygmy blue, Common Buckeye, and Variegated fritillary. Tentative plans for next spring include: installing interpretive signs, adding a brochure box, offering summer butterfly walks at Bubbling Ponds, conducting fall monarch tagging demos at the garden, and possibly painting a monarch mural on the garden wall. Please contact me at MonarchTagger@gmail.com if you have questions, comments, or suggestions about the Monarch Waystation.
Denise Gibbs, Monarch Watch Conservation