Look at the butterflies!

As summer approaches plants begin to bloom and if you’re anything like

me, then pollen allergies have struck in force. As much of a pain this is for so

many, pollen and the plants that produce it serve a much higher purpose then to

simply make one sneeze. Pollen is the substance that comes from flowering plants

that allows them to bloom and reproduce, but this process doesn’t occur on its

own. In fact there is an entire category of insects known as “pollinators” who

spread it from one flowering plant to another, which allows them to bloom and

reproduce.


The most prevalent of these so called pollinators in this region would be the

Monarch butterfly. The monarch butterfly or simply monarch is a milkweed

butterfly in the family Nymphalidae. Other common names, depending on region,

include milkweed, common tiger, wanderer, and black veined brown. It may be the

most familiar North American butterfly, and is considered an iconic pollinator

species. Its wings feature an easily recognizable black, orange, and white pattern,

with a wingspan of 8.9–10.2 cm

At Charlotte’s Quest we have it a priority to help keep a healthy Monarch

population in Maryland. This has been done by keeping a field of Milkweed that

eventually attracts Monarch’s and other pollinators; once attracted they will

continue to pollinate and allow such plants to reproduce, thus ensuring the health

of our local ecosystem. The Milkweed also provides a place for Monarch larvae to

grow and thrive with a healthy food supply. Come August, we will be bringing

special attention to our local pollinators and Monarch’s on our website; in

celebration of these beautiful creatures, and to hopefully spread community

awareness of their important role in the local ecosystem.


by Jake King

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