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Monarch Butterfly Update: Freedom Day

Freedom! While I’ve become attached to this little guy and would love for him to stay here, I decided to take him where he’d be free to roam through hundreds of blooming native flowers. Buchanan’s Native Plants is a local nursery that specializes in native plants. After the freeze, my neighborhood doesn’t have much blooming at the moment. This nursery is the perfect place for my monarch butterfly to begin his wonderful life fluttering about. Thanks to Carol at Flower Hill Farm for some welcome advice, she suggested releasing him as soon as possible. With the weather forecasted to be in the 70’s this week, it seemed the perfect time to do so.

In case you are wondering how I know my butterfly is a male, I found out here at this helpful site and it is also shown here on Wikipedia.

A monarch butterfly on a red flower.
Isn’t he cute?

He survived the first 48 hours in a 3 ft x 3 ft x 3 ft nylon photo cube that I found in the closet. I was perfect because it was easy to open and peek inside and it was white which let light diffuse in. I placed a 4-inch blooming gerbera daisy and some orange Asiatic lilies inside for him to enjoy. Needless to say, he was very slow getting started. That’s been the case since I first found him on the milkweed outside as a caterpillar. He spent nearly 3 days in the j position and 6 weeks in the chrysalis (normal time is about 10-14 days). I guess he preferred to move at his own schedule. He surprised me by surviving that long outside in January. (Read my post about my decision to bring him indoors before the BIG FREEZE.)

A monarch butterfly is sitting on an orange flower.
Just hanging out

Back to the title FREEDOM….

We left around 11 a.m. yesterday on the 20-minute trip to Buchanan’s. I placed him in a clear plastic container with vents and headed east. We arrived at the nursery at about 11:30 a.m. I introduced the little guy to Donna Buchanan, the owner of Buchanan’s Native Plants, and went for a stroll to find the perfect spot.

A row of pots and vases on a sidewalk in front of a store.

Well no sooner did I open the container, he flew up, up, and away. I didn’t even have a chance to snap a photo, but I did find him resting in a crape myrtle tree about 20 feet away.

A black fence with an orange circle on it.

With so many flowering plants at the nursery, I know he’ll find plenty of food, water, and shelter. If you are in the area, stop by Buchanan’s. You may find him fluttering around.

White and orange flowers in a pot.
A monarch butterfly is sitting on a red flower.
Day 2: Hanging Out on the Gerbera Daisy

Live long, be safe and happy my friend. Thank you for sharing some time with me.

7 thoughts on “Monarch Butterfly Update: Freedom Day”

  1. Lori, Jacob & Mason Weisbeck

    Jackie – My kids have watched the video over and over of what we have called the birth of the butterfly. It’s amazing!

    Thanks for sharing such an educational journey of the butterfly for all of us.


  2. Lori, Jacob & Mason Weisbeck

    My kids have watched over and over the video that we are now calling the “Birth of a Butterfly.

    Besides being educational, what a beautiful thing to watch and experience. Thank you for sharing your talent.

  3. I’m sure the little guy found plenty of nectar and a nice home at the nursery. We’ve spotted a few more of his friends and are waiting for the first ‘babies’ of spring.

  4. That’s so awesome! I let out 2 on Wed and it’s so cold they haven’t’ budged an inch. The last 2 of my 100+ I raised this summer just turned into chrysalides, too. I hope TX gets some rain and flowers soon!

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