Early in the school year Andrew D. Randazzo from Cornell Cooperative Extension came to Catskill Elementary to speak to third graders about the Monarch Butterfly Life Cycle.
As part of their Citizen Science program Mrs. Tedford’s science classes were given Monarch larvae to observe and care for. The project lasted for over a month.
The children observed the larvae eating milkweed leaves. This is the only plant that they eat. The plant makes the Monarch taste bitter to other animals and so they are left alone and are protected.
After reaching their 5th stage of growth the larvae entered into the last stage, where each formed a chrysalis. Then the students had to wait.
On October 11th the children said good-bye to their first adult butterfly. A tag was placed on his wing and off he flew. Perhaps the butterfly will join the others that are on their way south to winter in Mexico.
Then on October 13th the children waved goodbye to their second. An adult female, shown below right, is now heading south as well.