Local business donates shotguns to WUPD Senior Profile: Shannon Runyan Reds employees recognize Dr. King’s ‘Spirit of Service’ Saving Adams County’s power plants North Adams High School announces annual Science Fair Winners Board of Developmentally Disabled holds Jan. 11 swearing-in ceremony Peebles Elementary honors December Students of the Month Adams County villages receive Bike Racks and Fix-it Stations College Credit Plus Program available to high school students Wenstrup selected as Chairman of Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health 2017 Manchester Homecoming is ‘Super’ Lions put damper on Manchester Homecoming West Union athletes honored by OSSCA Senior Profile: Story Kremin Bickett, Runyan lead Lady Dragons to victory in Manchester Indians improve to 8-3 with Saturday night rout of Portsmouth West Farm Bureau scholarships available to HS seniors Wilbur named to the Wilmington College Dean’s List Opal Van Hoose Ruby Yazell Chris Volk North Adams High School holds annual Homecoming ceremonies Six workers injured in power plant explosion Commissioners hold proclamation ceremony for 4-H Week Senior Profile: Shyanne Tucker Coach Young Classic is Saturday at NAHS Helen Kerr Anna L DeMint The garden that got us through the winter months Virginia L Fricker JV Devils top Northwest 51-34 Senior Profile: Caitlin Young North Adams moves to 7-5 with 16-point Homecoming win over Northwest Held to a higher standard Claudia J Purtee Shaylee E Prewitt Questions still linger in Stuart explosion Richard Holsinger J Ruth Madden Frank E Swayne Robert Bechdolt Sara D Hatfield Barbara Goodwin Jeffrey Frederick Grace E Myers Johnny A Sullender Sr. Senator Joe Uecker sworn-in for second term Wenstrup sworn in for third term in House Ronald L Chochard Patrick P Clift Samuel W Freeland Senior Profile: Casey Mullenix Lady Dragons win ugly, taking Classic consolation game over Manchester, 48-45 Greyhounds roll by West Union to take Classic consolation game, 82-58 History made as Ward takes oath of office Peter A Bennington Tangela R King McDonald’s Classic crowns 2016 champions MVP Arey leads Peebles to McDonald’s Classic title, Indians outlast North Adams 82-76 in double overtime thriller Lady Devils get Classic three-peat, make it 10 of 11, 14 titles for Coach Davis Senior Profile: Raegan Dick Teaching students the power of giving Kids at Children’s Home gifted with shopping spree Marion Liming Dorothy Huff John R Murphy Michael L McAninch Rita Rogers Edward L Combs Ronald W Staggs Mary H Grooms Gladys Wilson Donald Barnhill Monda Van Vorren Deborah Spires Senior Profile: Andre Wolke Indians pull away in second half, get past Manchester 71-58 in Classic semis On home floor, Lady Indians move to Classic title game North Adams handles West Union, Devils move to Classic finals with 68-53 victory Lady Devils roll into Classic championship Beth E Rowley Leatrice Lewis Senior Profile: Justin Aldridge Mary Helterbridle Wanda Huffman PES Performing Arts entertains at Hometown Christmas Adams County Manor sends holiday wishes Peebles Lions Club hosts Christmas breakfast Elusive Elf on a Shelf makes a return visit to PES Santas in blue spread Christmas cheer in a very special way Senior Profile: Aubrey McFarland WUHS holds Hall of Fame induction ceremonies WUHS Academic Team has undefeated season Serving those who served their country From Pearl Harbor to ‘America’s Got Talent’, 93-year-old WWII vet is still going strong Yester Years brings a touch of old to the new Merry Christmas to you all North Adams Elementary announces Spelling Bee winners Peebles High School hosts Homecoming ceremonies Children in need receive gifts at PES

A look at Monarch caterpillars

On a recent trip to Vinton County to photograph the old Moonville Railroad Tunnel, we made a quick stop at the Wayne National Forest Welcome Center. The display of native plants was impressive as was the informative signage. As we walked around observing butterflies we started carefully checking for Monarch eggs and caterpillars. We were excited to find the tiny caterpillar in my photograph.

Monarchs lay eggs one at a time on milkweed plants, most frequently on the underside of leaves. When milkweed is scarce, they may load a single plant with eggs, but they usually lay only one egg on a plant. The eggs have ridges and taper to a point on top. The black head capsule of the caterpillar can be seen inside eggs about to hatch.

When temperatures are sufficiently warm – between 20 – 27 degrees C (70s and upper 60s F) – the eggs hatch three to five days after they are laid. In cooler temperatures they can take as many as 20 days to hatch. A newly-hatched caterpillar often eats its eggshell first. It will then eat the milkweed leaf, frequently leaving a characteristic arched hole in the leaf. Remember, Monarch caterpillars feed exclusively on plants in the milkweed family.

The caterpillars eat, grow and molt their outer skins four times, going through five instars (a period between larval molts). The fifth instar caterpillars are about 2 inches long and have yellow, black and white stripes and four fleshy black tentacles-two in front and two in the rear. In warm conditions, the caterpillars are ready to pupate fourteen to eighteen days after the eggs are laid, according to the authors of Milkweed, Monarchs and More – A Field Guide to the Invertebrate Community in the Milkweed Patch.

About ten days after it is formed, the chrysalis begins to darken and the familiar patterns of the monarch butterfly’s bright, orange and black wings become visible under a transparent cuticle. The butterfly ecloses (emerge from pupal stage), pumps up and dries its wings and is ready to fly in a matter of hours.

Three or more generations emerge each summer. Those eclosing in June and July have an adult life span of four to five weeks. In the north, the final generation of Monarchs become adults in mid-august through mid-September and will migrate to overwintering sites in Mexico and along the Pacific coast of California, where some survive up to eight months. This journey might entail traveling nearly 2,000 miles one way. Once in Mexico, the butterflies congregate in massive numbers in a very few favored locales. Northward migration reaches the U.S. in early March. Females lay eggs on emerging milkweeds. The offspring of this first brood then colonize the remainder of the breeding range in eastern North America, according to the ODNR publication, Milkweeds and Monarchs.

There is great concern over the decline in the Monarch populations. What can we do? Try including some native species of milkweed to your landscape! Monarch Watch is an excellent source for milkweeds, visit their website at monarchwatch.org/milkweed/market.

Picking tomatoes and cucumbers? Making salsa and pickles? Digging potatoes? This is certainly a busy time in the vegetable garden.

Don’t forget to take some time to walk around your flower beds and check for butterflies and caterpillars! Don’t focus on the weeds!

Remember to email your gardening questions to Brown County Master Gardener Volunteer, Mike Hannah, at mhannah2@msn.com.

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By Faye Mahaffey

OSUE Brown County Master Gardener Volunteer

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