Monarch Butterflies by Rob Wood, Monarch Expert, and Ursula Schwuttke, IHMC

October 3, 2020

The fall season of Ocala Science Saturdays started in October, with Monarch Butterflies. Rob Wood joined us virtually from San Diego to lead the session. Hands-on activities included observing monarch caterpillars and planting seeds for participants to take home to start butterfly gardens. Two types of native milkweed seeds were donated by St. Marks National Wildlife Preserve near Tallahassee - butterfly milkweed and swamp milkweed. Milkweed is the only plant on which monarchs lay eggs, so it's critical for habitat restoration. We also planted seeds for nectar plants favored by monarch butterflies, including zinnia, goldenrod, and coreopsis. Starbucks and Publix donated supplies. An exciting surprise was getting to see one of the caterpillars make it’s chrysalis. Photos by Brooke Heller.