Welcome to CREATE BUTTERFLY HABITAT course (July 2013)

  • Creator
    Topic
  • #35012

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hi folks

    To those of you who are new to the website I’m Jacqui, live in Blockhouse Bay, Auckland. Had a butterfly garden of sorts for many years. Learning all the time. Want to have more species in my garden. I’m a granny and when I’m not doing things for the MBNZT I work for Duffy Books in Homes visiting schools throughout the North Island.

    Feel free to introduce yourself here and we can chat about the course material as the course progresses.

Viewing 25 replies - 26 through 50 (of 50 total)
  • Author
    Replies
  • #35110

    Nola
    Participant

    The buddleias were in small pot plants on the top shelf of a 5 shelf unit inside the greenhouse and the egg trays were also on a top shelf. The swan plants hadn’t actually come through yet, so were just seeds in seed mix, but now there is not even any seed mix left and the cardboard is in small bits. That’s what made me think it was mice/rats as it happened overnight and it would have had to be an army of slugs and snails to do the amount of damage that was done. I can buy some more buddleia on Trade Me to replace them and I have bought some buddleia seeds from USA that I have now started. I don’t have any questions yet to do with the course, but I do have one to do with my gardens. Does anyone know if monarchs are attracted to horrible ordinary yellow daisies? We have always had quite a few monarchs around and only a few swan plants so I’m hoping I haven’t destroyed their daisy habitat, although I will be replacing it this spring.

    #35105

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hello there

    Welcome to the newest enrolments.

    Nola – I wonder if it could have been rabbits eating your swan plants and Buddleias? Or snails and slugs, they’re really bad at eating fresh young seedlings/growth.

    Glad you’re enjoying the course. Any questions so far? Just post them here – there are quite a few people who have been breeding butterflies for yonks, and they will be happy to share their knowledge.

    Jacqui

    #35100

    Nola
    Participant

    Hi everyone, (Thank you Jacqui for setting up my name etc. I was unable to participate last week due to having to stay in bed.) I’m from Waiotira in Northland and have just come to gardening at the ripe old age of 64. My ex created many small garden areas fenced in painted corrugated iron with open gateways which unfortunately the chickens are getting into and digging up all the paper, compost and mulch I have put down. I planned on planting out buddleias that I had bought and swan plants that I had started, together (after reading the 2nd coursework pages!) but mice/rats (?) have got into one of our greenhouses and eaten all the new shoots on the buddleias and totally decimated the half dozen egg trays of swan plant seeds I had started. So now I have to buy some more buddleias and start again with the seeds. Luckily I have still got time over the winter to do this, just need to find the money as I wanted several plants together so the shortsighted monarchs can see them.

    I have passed on some swan plant seeds plus gazanias, sunflowers etc to Waiotira School as Angela was at the meeting too, but I haven’t heard anything from them. I hope they are going fine.

    I am very much enjoying the course and learning all sorts of things I never knew. I look forward to the rest of it, although the first lot of questions aren’t going to be easy.

    #35099

    mm
    Participant

    We are the Enviro team from Mission Heights Primary School in Auckland. We have a few swan plants but we want to improve the garden for our butterflies. It was great to learn the difference between endemic, native and introduced species and about differences between moths and butterflies. We will be in touch after our holidays.

    #35088

    Josie
    Participant

    yes I saw 2 ladybirds in about March here in Foxton – I
    had not seen them since I was a child..they were lovely to see and have in our garden.

    #35087

    Diane
    Participant

    Hi Kerry
    I found a few of the steelblue lady birds here on the Kapiti coast last Friday whilst gardening and also a yellow shouldered lady bird in my garden last year. I have also seen a few Monarchs flitting around on sunny days this winter. I agree that it is good to plant for all insects especially as numbers decline.

    #35086

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Welcome to all the latest course participants. There is at least one other from Christchurch, Eveline.

    We certainly don’t mind you including bees and flowers in your discussion, Kerry. I read this post on Facebook today which I thought made really good sense, about not using pesticides:

    “I just have the attitude of tithing 10% of my produce to the insect kingdom. I then watch the dance as the 1st insects make their appearance. Next wave is the one who predate on the 1st wave… and on it goes, all summer. Funny thing though, they never take their full 10% so I’m left with a feeling of abundance. It’s all about balance and remembering we don’t OWN the planet. We share it.”

    Everything in balance.

    #35085

    Kerry
    Participant

    Hi Everyone,
    Thanks Jacqui for putting the next lesson up early, have printed it off and read it already.
    I really don’t like gardening but I love flowers and I have a very patient partner who will plant them for me. Last spring a little boy across the road wanted to earn pocket money so he helped me full the containers with potting mix and then we put the seeds into them. It was a lot of fun. He and his sister are keen to do the same this year. We also put our seedlings into pots so that we could move them if need be without disturbing their roots and this worked very well and we had a lovely display of flowers.
    Please, please if you are planting please put in some blue borage and cosmos for the bees, they love them and bees need all the help they can get and they are just as beautiful as butterflies.
    Moths must winter over as we have them around when its dark and the lights are on.
    My challenge is to try and photograph them.
    I have seen monarchs in the winter time over the Waiarapa coast so they must go some where and survive.
    Has anyone seen lady bugs lately? I have only seen two in the last few years and wonder if these are dying out as well.
    Hope you don’t mind if I talk about the bees and ladybugs but nature is so interesting and everything is linked – if we can help one species, the same things could help another.

    #35082

    Eveline van Heyst
    Participant

    Are there any course participants living in Christchurch? After a few warm winters days with temps around 20deg I was surprised not to see any monarchs fluttering out and about. I wonder if they survived the week of harsh frosts. Does anyone know how long monarchs can survive severe temperatures?
    I will have to find the overwintering sites to see if they have survived.

    #35081

    Eveline van Heyst
    Participant

    Hi everyone,I’m Eveline and live in Christchurch. My interest in Monarchs was passed down to be from my father who was particularly interested in the metamorphosis and Monarch life cycle , which still amazes me every time I observe it on my own ‘pet” caterpillars.
    I have been taking part in the ‘tagging” with MBTNZ for several years and encourage you all to get into it too!
    I am an outdoor sports and nature enthusiast and spend a lot of my spare time in the South Island mountains where I am always on the look out for our Native and Endemic species.I was interested to learn that there are 3 species of the Blue. I have never seen the long -tailed Blue,is it widely found?
    I am impressed with the course material, it is easy to follow and very colourful:)
    I hope to learn more about Butterfly gardening in particular what plants attract more Native and Endemic species.

    #35078

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    In Lesson 2 I mention taking a “screenshot”. This is a very handy tool but it appears a lot of people don’t know how to do it.

    On your computer keyboard at the upper right and close to the zero there is a button with PRTSCR or similar on it. When you have something on your screen you want to share with others, you press that button – then when you have an email addressed to who you want to share this picture with, or a new Word document, hold down the CTRL button and press the V key and you screenshot will appear.

    I also have a handy little tool (Windows 7) called a ‘snipping tool’ which I can use in a similar way.

    #35077

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Jill – if you’ve got a half day free during the school holidays (when i am not working at all and will be back in Auckland), if you’d like to go look at a couple of known sites we could make a morning of Monarch spotting.

    And the response to my rhetorical question is that some of our butterflies and moths overwinter in other ways, not at all like Monarchs. I once thought that ALL Lepidoptera probably were just like Monarchs.

    #35075

    Jill Quigley
    Participant

    Jacqui I’m still a bit mystified by Monarchs over-wintering in our trees as it is, without trying to think of the rest of the butterflies & moths! I guess if I saw this practice for myself it would become real. For now it still seems fantastical that they could all be ‘hanging out’ together in such numbers.

    #35062

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Great to hear from you all, and glad to hear that you’re enjoying it. Has anyone got any questions about Part 1?

    Have you ever wondered if our butterflies and moths overwinter as Monarchs do?

    Jacqui

    #35060

    HelenM
    Participant

    Hello

    My name is Helen from Auckland. Just completed the first lesson & learnt quite a lot (and found I remembered some of my school biology as well). I have been raising monarchs in the garden for several years & look forward to learning how to keep the pests at bay! Cheers.

    #35058

    Craig Richards
    Participant

    HI there, I work as a Kindergarten teacher in Blenheim, N.Z enjoy raising butterflies with the children and trying to create a butterfly garden so looking forward to increasing my knowledge and skills

    #35052

    David
    Participant

    Good morning all. Apart from school projects many years ago my interest in Monarchs and other butterflies re-started when I realised we hadn’t seen many butterflies at the bach despite there being ample nectar – so swan plant seeds were planted. Our part time residency at the bach means our butterflies need to cope with what nature hands out, except we supplement with host food planting, encouraging neighbours and improving our knowledge.
    We live in Melbourne and Monarchs [Wanderer’s] are not seen much around the city suburbs, probably owing to a lack of host food. So we have a challenge here too. Our swan plants along the fence line have attracted interest and several people have sought seeds. David.

    #35035

    Josie
    Participant

    Hi – I am looking forward to this course. For the past 6 years I have raised Monarchs in our garden. Also a keen photographer many hours have been spent capturing the different stages of the monarch. Last year I did a photo book on the monarchs that have visited our garden. I am looking forward to learning more. I live in Foxton.

    #35033

    Jill Quigley
    Participant

    Hi All

    I’m Jill, and happy to be on this course to improve on my summer-time obsession of growing juicy Monarch caterpillars… into butterflies! I’ve been hooked for about 8 years now and every summer I spend more time and money at the garden centres buying up more and more food for my hungry caterpillars. The most magical thing I’ve ever seen is the transformation from caterpillar to chrysalis – it never ceases to amaze me! I live in Auckland – eastern suburbs.

    #35032

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi Everyone,

    I live in Wellington (Karori) and became a butterfly gardener more or less by accident. I got some swan plants from the IHC in Otaki (which they sell to support their community garden) last year, and conveniently those came with heaps of Monarch eggs and caterpillars. It has been quite a steep learning curve for me to help them reach adulthood!

    I’m looking forward to getting the background knowledge from this course to be a better butterfly mum next season!

    Cheers, Diane
    (@blauerpunto on Twitter)

    #35027

    mm
    Participant

    H everyone,

    I’m a full time mum. We live on a very large property on the fringe of Auckland. I will be doing the course on my own but also with the EnviroTeam at Mission Heights Primary school.Look forward to sharing info!

    #35025

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hello everyone

    I have now uploaded Lesson 1. Future lessons will be uploaded automatically on or before the Monday BUT I will not be emailing everyone.

    One important thing – when downloading the material, please do NOT delete the file as there will be others who will want to access the same pdf.

    Thanks

    Jacqui

    #35021

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Wonderful to hear from you Kerry and Diane. I hope you get a great deal of information and pleasure out of the course.

    #35019

    Kerry
    Participant

    Hi Jackie
    I am an administrator in Wellington. I live in Johnsonville with my partner and two cats. Last summer we put in our garden lots of flowers and plants to attract bees and butterflies to the garden and we had a lot of visitors – both bees and monarch butterflies. We are keen photographers and its very thrilling to go into our own garden to photograph these amazing beings who just wont keep still!
    Looking forward to learning more about butterflies.

    #35016

    Diane
    Participant

    Hi Jacqui, have just registered following receipt of my course info. Looking forward to learning more to share with the students at Raumati South school on the Kapiti Coast where I work.

Viewing 25 replies - 26 through 50 (of 50 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.