Monarch Butterflies

The Monarch Butterfly seems to have enjoyed a successful year, as three waves of the little critters have visited our area this month, presumably on their way to Mexico. I am unsure if the rebound in numbers is due to conservation efforts to replenish the host Milk Weeds or if nature simply provided the correct climatic conditions. Perhaps it is the result of both, but in any event, it is interesting that milk weeds, in particular Antelope-Horn Milkweed, seem to be increasing on the rangeland that we have a more intensive graze-rest program. (I do not understand the relationship as to why this is happening. Anybody have a theory?) I do not expect any toxicity problems with livestock as adequate forage is present for grazing. In fact, we have not noted any toxic plant issues with the use of a properly applied graze-rest program. (Bitterweed and Perennial Broomweed are decreasing at a rapid rate while Twinleaf Senna seems to be stable to increasing on the shallow rocky hillside areas. No chemicals applied only an effective graze-rest program.) Many good things happen when our rangeland is provided the ‘tinder loving care’ it deserves.

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