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Monarch of the Meadow

Increased monarch butterfly activity is a sign of fall at Mass Audubon’s Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary.

This thoughtfully placed bench at Mass Audubon’s Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary is a perfect place to sit and contemplate monarch butterflies.
The North and South Meadows are ablaze with goldenrod in the late summer. Goldenrod is an important food source for monarchs.
The majestic monarch has a wingspan of three to four inches.
In addition to goldenrod, adult monarchs feed on a wide variety of nectar bearing flowers in preparation for their migration to Mexico.
With their striking orange and black coloring, monarchs are one of the most easily recognized butterflies in North America.
The goldenrod this monarch is feeding on does not cause allergies in humans. Ragweed, which blooms at the same time, is the allergy culprit.

Milkweed for Monarchs

In the late Fall, meadows in New England are bursting with milkweed pods, which furnish monarch caterpillars with the only food they will eat. A huge effort is underway to plant more milkweed to stop the recent decline in the monarch population.

bursting milkweedVersion 2

milkweed spiritmonarch eatingMonarh Butterfly on Milkweed Plant

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