ArtSplash Booth Promotes Monarch Importance

Dorothy Pecaut and The Wild Ones Organization teamed up to not only to promote planting milkweed but also to share information about monarchs!  On September 2nd, visitors to the annual ArtSplash festival gave visitors the opportunity to either make a milkweed seed bomb or take one home. Nature allowed visitors to experience living art.  The best part of the day was getting hands dirty to create living art!  Several people made more than one.  Two young girls told the team they had been looking forward to making their milkweed seed bombs for a week!  Katelyn Brinkerhoff an intern with Dorothy Pecaut shared, “The milkweed seed bombs are an easy way for people to plant the seeds by throwing them into their garden, into a ditch or into different places. The milkweed plant is the only plant that monarch caterpillars eat so they need this plant to survive!” 

KTIV news station did a story about the booth and described it as a “living art experience”!  Loyanne Jensen, local volunteer, brought a container with monarch caterpillars, some caterpillars in a j hook (the last stage before the caterpillar goes into a chrysalis) and some in a chrysalis.  She shared another container of chrysalises, with some in a j.  As Loyanne shared some information, the caterpillar started doing “its dance” and went into a chrysalis!  What a marvelous event for ArtSplash visitors to see!  Mary Siepker brought a female butterfly and had named her Splash!  She became famous when her release was captured on TV.  She also had a few fans gathered to watch her debut flight!  As she flew high into the sky, there was another monarch butterfly flying.  The morning was truly a “living art experience” that many people were able to observe.  A special thank you goes out  to Dorothy Pecaut and The Wild Ones Organization for teaming together and promoting planting milkweed and monarch butterflies.

                           

Splash was a female monarch butterfly.  A female monarch does not have a black dot on either wing Many visitors told the team about seeing “millions” of monarch butterflies flying around their gardens and homes.  Many of the butterflies described were painted ladies, which are smaller than the monarchs. 

Mary released two butterflies.  The first one was on her finger and she decided to release the second one.  This one was attached to Mary’s finger by her legs.  The first one flew off and Mary noticed someone was observing what was happening.  He asked if he could take a picture of the butterfly.  As if on stage, she opened her wings right on cue!  A beautiful actress performed.

Fall is also a great time to plant milkweed!  The common milkweed is great for seed bombs, but there are many species of milkweed and female monarchs that wil lay their eggs on any species of milkweed. Watch for the next monarch adventure with tagging at the Sioux City Prairie. 

Our own personal Butterfly Whisperer, Mary Siepke,r is a retired elementary teacher and a frequent contributor to Kid Scoop News

 

Teachers: Send in your monarch events and activities for our year- long study with Mary.

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