South Dakota Monarch Butterfly's Journal

May 23, 2020


Milkweed is starting to grow. Monarch caterpillars need milkweed to eat.

I found some small plants of Showy Milkweed in the Oahe Downstream Recreation Area Butterfly Garden. I could not find any of the other milkweed we have planted - whorled, dwarf, swamp, common. Hopefully they are just getting a late start.

A botanist friend will be experimenting with more milkweed plots to see how best to grow them and which species the monarchs like best.

Posted on May 23, 2020 12:48 by bess1010 bess1010 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Monarchs are back

May 22, 2020
I had a monarch on my lilac bushes in the evening. Dave, a retired botanist, had one during the day. Another friend had one at her house. Sooooo - they are back! Dave said they were about a week earlier than last year.

Posted on May 23, 2020 12:44 by bess1010 bess1010 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 09, 2020

Spring has just started

It's still too early for monarchs in South Dakota. I did get curious enough to see when the first ones were seen in the state last year. It is usually the end of May or early June.

I had a female laying eggs in the Oahe Butterfly Garden (in the Pierre/Ft. Pierre area) on June 6, 2019.

And just so you know, the peak of migration in the fall for the Pierre area is mid-September. I tag monarchs as they pass through. More people are encouraged to tag monarchs. It is easy. You can find more information about tagging and how to buy tags at You are also welcome to find me this fall and help.

Posted on April 09, 2020 15:58 by bess1010 bess1010 | 0 comments | Leave a comment