Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Injured Monarch

We went out for a bike ride yesterday and didn't make it too far up the road before Madeline jumps off her bike in the middle of someone's driveway to look at something on the ground.  I thought it was probably a big spider or some other nasty bug.  When Travis and I caught up, we saw that it was a Monarch butterfly, slowly flapping it's wings.  I scooped it up and it walked a little in my hands, but couldn't fly.  We knew we couldn't just leave it there, so we carried it home and built a habitat for it.

Madeline and Travis gathered a few sticks and leaves to put in the container while I cut holes in the lid.  Madeline knew we needed to add a couple flowers since monarchs feed on nectar, so she snipped some from the bouquet the kids got me last week.  She also knew that this butterfly was a female, because it lacked the lower pouches on the wings that the male monarchs have, so she kept correcting me when I called it an 'it'.  I'm not positive, but it appears her wing is broken.  She can still flap both wings, just cannot fly. I did an internet search and also found that sometimes they act like that when they are ready to die.  Monarchs only live for about 6-8 weeks and this one may have hatched early due to the crazy hot weather and earlier blooming milkweeds.

We took her outside again later in the day and opened the lid of the container to see if she would fly, but she only flapped her wings a bit and didn't move much.  We'll do the same thing randomly throughout the day to see if she'll fly... if not, we'll bring her to the Children's Garden tomorrow morning to see what can be done, if anything.  If it is just time for her to die, then at least she'll be placed in the beautiful flowers of the butterfly garden.

Madeline had to run downstairs to say goodnight to the butterfly after she was all tucked in last night.  I really hope this butterfly doesn't die today.

A very concerned Madeline

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