Monarchs Mating in a Milkweed Patch, Good Harbor Beach Dunes
Recently, Good Morning Gloucester reader John Steiger gave me a large bag filled with ripe milkweed seed pods collected from his garden. I had a total blast throwing the seed pods around on my early morning walk, tossing alongside the road where ever I thought milkweed might have a chance to take hold (which is easy as milkweed even takes root in sidewalk cracks).
I’d like to do more of this and Joe had the great idea to ask folks to make it a community project as we did several years ago with the milkweed and New England aster seeds and plant sales. He has again very generously offered the dock on Sunday morning after the podcast, between 10:30 and noon. If you have ripe milkweed seed pods in your garden, please bring them Sunday morning. Anyone who wants to distribute the seeds, stop by the dock and we’ll arm you with seed pods. I’ll also be collecting Joe-pye, goldenrod, and aster seeds later this fall when these wildflowers go to seed. If we get more folks dropping off bags of pods than wanting to distribute, that will be okay. I know tons more places that need milkweed and I will be happy to do the distributing. These are areas that probably at one time had milkweed and other wildflowers growing there, but they have been mowed over or taken over by bittersweet and phragmites. As people are learning more about the importance of wildflowers and pollinators, I am hoping the wildflowers will have a better chance of becoming reestablished.
Female Monarch Depositing Eggs on the Undersides of Milkweed Leaves
MILKWEED SEED COLLECTION AND DISTRIBUTION PROJECT SUNDAY OCTOBER 15TH
Collect ripe milkweed seed pods (only Common Milkweed and Marsh Milkweed please). Place in a paper bag, not plastic, as plastic can cause the seed pods to become damp.
Bring seedpods to Captain Joe and Sons on Sunday morning between 10:30 and noon. Captain Joes is located at 95 East Main Street, East Gloucester.
If you’d like to distribute seeds, meet at the dock between 10:30 and noon and I will show you what to do.
NOTE: It is easy to tell when milkweed seedpods are ripe. The seeds inside turn brown. Do not collect the pods when the seeds are white or green. If you pick them too soon, they will never be viable. You can check the seed pods by slitting the pod a tiny bit and peeking inside.
Any questions, please comment in the comment section or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you and I hope to see you Sunday morning!
Milkweed is not only the Monarch caterpillar’s food plant, the florets are a very important source of nectar for myriad species of pollinators.
To learn more about how you can help fund the documentary Beauty on the Wing and the Monarch Butterfly Film Online Fundraising, please visit the film’s website at monarchbutterflyfilm.com.