Each Summer, we anxiously await the arrival of our first monarch caterpillar to the property. We keep our eyes peeled for butterflies and begin our hunt in some nearby hay fields that are full of fresh milkweed plants. Each year is different, and we cannot accurately predict how many we will find.Monarch Life Cycle
Our goal is to help increase the worldwide population of this beautiful butterfly! Part of achieving this goal is to educate visitors and there is no better way than to stop in during the monarch rearing season and experience it for yourself. We enjoy raising monarchs in our gardens and by doing so we also increase the chance they have to survive into adulthood. Only approximately 1 in 100 monarchs will survive to be a butterfly in the wild. By protecting them in our enclosure, we significantly raise this percentage.
We are a certified Monarch Waystation and participate in a tagging program through Monarch Watch which runs out of the University of Kansas, USA. Before we release our butterflies, they are tagged with a sticker that has a serial number from Monarch Watch that is placed on a particular part of the lower wing.learn about monarch watch
The purpose of the tagging is to associate the location of capture with the point of recovery for each butterfly. The data from these recaptures are used to determine the pathways taken by migrating monarchs, the influence of weather on the migration, and the survival rate of the monarchs.
When you visit Garden Path Homemade Soap during the late summer, you may get an opportunity to see some monarchs up close in our rearing cage. When they emerge as butterflies, lucky visitors get to release them into the wild.
The best time to see the monarchs is during August and September; however, we have released butterflies as late as mid October! You can view our "Monarch Motel" - an outdoor enclosure that allows the monarchs to be sheltered from the elements and predators, but still allows visitors to watch them up close.