Tag Archives: Monarch butterfly

I’ve Been Bit by the Butterfly Bug

Giant Swallowtail

Many friends (and friends of friends) have asked me, “How can I learn more too?” So here’s the next chapter of my story. Truthfully, I still consider myself quite the novice. I’m happily learning more and more each day, and happy to share what I’ve found out so far.

I started with a few books, then researched on the internet, and ultimately cultivated personal connection with other butterfly people. I just knew I couldn’t be the only person who had been bit by the butterfly bug (and no, they don’t really bite).

Our first butterfly book in the collection, How to Raise Monarch Butterflies by Carol Pasternak, was our everyday instruction manual when raising Rosey. It’s a great book for the whole family that is specific to raising Monarchs. I highly recommend it!

Other good butterfly books I would recommend:

A Swift Guide to Butterflies of North America, by Jeffrey Glassberg

Butterflies of Houston & Southeast Texas, by John & Gloria Tveten

Butterflies and Moths (Golden Guide), by Robert T. Mitchell and Herbert S. Zim

The Family Butterfly Book, by Rick Mikula

Field Guides  are a MUST HAVE if you are going on butterfly hikes and want to identify what you see:

Butterflies of Southeast Texas and the Upper Texas Coast, John & Gloria Tveten

Texas Butterflies & Moths, by James Kavanagh and Raymond Leung

Butterflies of South Texas including the Lower Rio Grande Valley, by Roland “Ro” Wauer and Jim Brock

In addition to the books and guides, I wanted to learn from other butterfly experts and enthusiasts.  I have nearly 15 years of experience in the recruiting and staffing industry, so naturally I did what I know how to do best….network. I linked up to people and joined groups on Facebook to further my knowledge. Everyone I’ve met online has been extremely nice and willing to teach and share the joy of butterflying.

Facebook and Blogging Butterfly Experts that I follow:

Carol Pasternak/The Monarch Crusader

Edith Smith /Shady Oak Butterfly Farm

Monika Moore/California Butterfly Lady

Brenda Dziedzic/Brenda’s Butterfly Habitat

Suzanne Tilton/The Butterfly Lady

Butterfly Enthusiasts of Southeast Texas (group)

Butterfly Enthusiasts (group)

The National Butterfly Center

Monika Maeckle/ Texas Butterfly Ranch (blog)

 

 

 

 

 

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Why Butterfly?

Why Butterfly?

I’m asked quite frequently, “How’d you get started into all this butterfly stuff anyway?” So here’s my story! I’m mom to a gorgeous and sweet 8 year old girl named Bridgita, cute and cuddly 5 year old boy named Blaise, and stepmom to a handsome and kind 20 year old young man named Bryce. Oh yeah… and a wonderful husband, Hector, whom I love dearly. We will be celebrating 13 years of marriage this May.

It all started at the soccer fields. Bryce played on a competitive select team. We drove near and far for as many games and tournaments as we could. The tournaments were especially long hours (sometimes ALL day events), and his little brother and sister were very little and had very short attention spans. Hector and I would pack an arsenal of things to keep them occupied.  We had everything including LeapFrog games, books, coloring books, and the list goes on. But what the kids really enjoyed most was going on butterfly hikes with their nets and habitats in the next to and behind the soccer fields. They would collect butterflies, ladybugs, and the occasional lizards too. This was great because they loved it and Hector and I could focus on the game! That’s when our family started a love affair with butterflies.

soccer butterflying

Now that’s how it started, but what really sealed the marriage to our butterflying interests was very special Monarch named Rosey.  We had recently bought a tiny milkweed plant that was a “leftover” from the HMNS (Houston Museum of Natural Science) plant sale in the late Fall of 2012. Honestly, I wasn’t even 100% sure it was milkweed because there wasn’t a label on it. We took it home planted it, and started researching Monarchs so that we would know what to look for. We looked at pictures of eggs, caterpillars, etc. Low and behold, Bridgita spotted an egg. I couldn’t believe it! How’d she see something so small, the size of a pen tip? She checked that egg every day and then one day said, “Mommy, mommy, the egg hatched and there’s a tiny caterpillar!” What? Really? Yes, really! Uh oh… it was the week of Christmas by this time and we were getting a “cold front” with possible freezing temps. What to do? Honey… I need you to dig up the milkweed plant and bring it inside so we can raise this caterpillar. My sweet husband obliged the request. Bridgita was invested in this little caterpillar and had even named her Rosey – and you know how that goes, once you name it, you keep it.  We documented Rosey’s every move and even had a “fan club” on Facebook that were tracking her developments and cheering her on.

We got super lucky because Rosey grew up a healthy caterpillar and emerged as a healthy beautiful Monarch Butterfly on January 28, 2013. We made a super big deal about her birthday and even threw her a birthday party. Yes you read that right –  a party for the butterfly…we were totally enamored with this butterfly! The kids invited all of their friends, we decorated, had cupcakes, and the whole shebang…It was really fun and special.

To this day, I haven’t seen a Monarch bigger than Rosey. I honestly think that it was all the special love and attention that we gave her here.

Butterflying has been a wonderful hobby for our entire family and something we are all equally interested in.  Butterflies have been a blessing for our family to say the least!

Fast forward, the last year and a half has been a fun whirlwind of butterflying learning and adventures for our family, and I’m excited to share our knowledge with you, so stay tuned for more about our butterflying journey!

Rosey Birthday