...yes, 95 Monarchs released today! And that's not counting the three that got away without tags! It was a beautiful day for flying!
So, I found this magical place where I go for milkweed and to look for Monarch eggs and larvae. It is like heaven for the Monarchs! It is in Sparks and it is called Mingodale Farm. John, the farmer, has wonderful produce and he graciously allows me out to hunt Monarchs at least twice a week. Today, I wanted to give back. If Monarchs are in fact "geocoded", then I certainly want them to return to his beautiful farm next year.
Today, I, along with my fellow gardeners Natalie and Sara, met to stage a tag and release of Monarchs with John and his customers. It was a HUGE success! We released over 40 at the farm.
I had an incredible moment today that gave me chills. One of John's customers came over to tag and launch a few Monarchs. She explained that she had had several people close to her pass away. She remarked that, afterwards, she always saw a butterfly. I described to her and the group gathered that, in Mexico, they celebrate the Day of the Dead (October 31st - November 2nd) which happens to coincide with when the Monarchs arrive for their winter diapause. The locals in Mexico believe the Monarchs contain the souls of their loved ones, who are making a brief, return visit. Oh, the look on her face when I said that! What an amazing conversation!
Then, I came home. A ton of Monarchs emerged here at the house today. I tagged and released them this beautiful afternoon from my back patio. Sheer bliss!
So, as of today, 384 healthy, adult Monarchs tagged and released - not including the ones that got away, the ones I have given to friends to raise, and the ones I released before the fall migration.
I think I am going to reach that unbelievable 500 mark...it's fantastic!