The Jerusalem Monarch Butterfly Celebration 2010

The bright distinctive Monarch

The third annual Monarch Butterfly Migration Festival was held in Jerusalem Community Park on October 2, 2010. Just south of Oklahoma City/Norman, we exited I-35 to travel briefly west to the avid celebration.

It was a clear, beautifully warm Saturday and driving on state highway 74B we saw several different types of butterflies, including the striated orange and black Monarch. We followed butterfly signs along the smooth rural highway, enjoying seeing the new country we had not discovered previously.  (In the hub of the Cole Butterfly Festival of last year, we went what turned out to be a very rural way and ended up in a cornfield with cows, mud and a tractor.  But we magnificently arrived after talking with the cows and took lots of pictures there too. )

Western view of the lovely grounds at Jerusalem Community Park

Jerusalem Community Park Monarch Festival, Washington townsite, McClain County, Oklahoma.  These four acres have historic significance.
Jerusalem Community Park Monarch Festival, Washington townsite, McClain County, Oklahoma. These four acres have historic significance.
Annie Hart, aka Mother Milkweed is scattering milkweed seed at the Jerusalem Festival.  She is Founder and Director of the Monarch Migration Celebrations.
Annie Hart, aka Mother Milkweed is scattering milkweed seed at the Jerusalem Festival. She is Founder and Director of the Monarch Migration Celebrations.

Click to enlarge most pictures.

These happy young ladies were enjoying the Monarch Celebration together.
These happy young ladies were enjoying the Monarch Celebration together.
An expectant  little girl gets her butterfly decoration to wear in the Butterfly parade.
An expectant little girl gets her butterfly decoration to wear in the Butterfly parade.
One of the busy vendors at the Monarch Festival had all kinds of yard decor, plants, butterfly related items.
One of the busy vendors at the Monarch Festival had all kinds of yard décor, plants, butterfly related items.

The Jerusalem Community Center is located just two miles east of Cole, Oklahoma*, and is just about three miles west of I-35 south of Norman, taking the Goldsby exit toward the Festival via state highway 74.

The manicured grassy field and bright butterfly garden areas were lined with vendor tents and dotted with people strolling around in the mid-morning sunshine. A gorgeous variety and size of human butterflies in pastel or vivid colors of filmy, delicate winged costumes skimmed around the gardens and lawn areas. No wind blew them. For Oklahoma, no wind is something to be celebrated, and made such a beautiful day for butterflies to exercise. (*Cole was the beautifully shaded undulating site of the last two annual Monarch Festivals.)

There were many costumed and winged humans strolling around the various exhibits, the butterfly holding tent, and the Community Building with its wafting scents of luscious baking. There were people there from New Jersey who could not believe the warm beauty of this clear Saturday. Most visitors were local, but quite a few I spoke with had driven as far as eighty miles to attend the festival.

Everyone became an admirer of the real - and pretend - butterflies as they admired the still bloom-filled nectar gardens.  Several spoke of their determination to build their own personal butterfly garden.  Conveniently, those type seeds were available for sale and instructions  available for growing the best local varieties of plants to nurture the butterflies.

Front lawn scene of the Jerusalem Community Park acres. Note the ancient juniper-type tree in far right background, seen just left of the building.
Front lawn scene of the Jerusalem Community Park acres. Note the ancient juniper-type tree in far right background, seen just left of the building.
Mr. Joel Bradford of Oklahoma City, genial caretaker of the historic Jerusalem Community acres.  Note his hat, as well as wings!
Mr. Joel Bradford of Oklahoma City, genial caretaker of the historic Jerusalem Community acres. Note his hat, as well as wings!
This young man enjoyed showing how his butterfly toy worked.  And he informed everyone that he liked being a BLUE butterfly.
This young man enjoyed showing how his butterfly toy worked. And he informed everyone that he liked being a BLUE butterfly.

Examples of milkweed and nectar blossoms for larvae and adult.

Antelope horn milkweed with a milkweed beetle enjoying the sap.
Antelope horn milkweed with a milkweed beetle enjoying the sap.
Pink and yellow Lantana, an important nectar plant for butterflies.
Pink and yellow Lantana, an important nectar plant for butterflies.
Viceroy butterfly on white milkweed
Viceroy butterfly on white milkweed
Yellow and Orange Profusion Zinnias grow in the gardens at Jerusalem Community Park. These easily grown flowers are nectar plants for butterflies.
Yellow and Orange Profusion Zinnias grow in the gardens at Jerusalem Community Park. These easily grown flowers are nectar plants for butterflies.
The bright Castor Bean blossoms are a nectar source.  The plant is considered poisonous to humans unless it is 'processed' correctly.
The bright Castor Bean blossoms are a nectar source. The plant is considered poisonous to humans unless it is 'processed' correctly.

Mr. Joel Bradford, as committed caretaker of this land, had mowed the grassy field and willingly cut fence to allow visitors to park and walk across to the Festival lawn adjacent. That is to be gratefully acknowledged, complimented and was certainly appreciated. He graciously, and genial, posed at my request to photograph him in his beautiful wings. I thought they might be angel’s wings too, upon this dedicated individual.

Mr. Bradford is caretaker of this historic four acres area donated to the Freedmen survivors by the Chickasaw and Choctaw Tribes of Oklahoma before statehood.  He is a true native son who owns farmland nearby the now archaic Washington townsite, where the New Jerusalem Community Park is located.  The recorded history of this land is that it was “patently deeded” to the local Freedmen, ancestors of many of the present population, to be used for its intended purpose of affording their progeny the land for community facilities available in perpetuity.  Should the inheritors decide to forego the agreement the land would revert back to the Indian Tribes.

The festivities have further purpose too.

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The underlying purpose for this Monarch celebration is a sober one; an intention to preserve habitat and nurturing host plants for the majestic Monarch. Much of their natural sustenance territory is being increasingly destroyed by use of herbicides and additionally destructive pesticides. Inundation of their indigenous home sites by civilized encroachment, similar deficiency of migratory feeding sites, has led to the Monarch lifecycle being fraught with an overcapacity of survival problems.

The Monarch’s larval host plants are only milkweeds, of which there about fifteen species in Oklahoma. The milkweeds are being literally decimated by the use of chemicals/herbicides, and thus cannot regenerate to afford food for the caterpillars. This is a major problem in the United States and continues into Mexico. However the Monarch wintering forests of Mexico are also disappearing both because of logging, chemical usage and civilized intrusion.

The Monarch is the only butterfly to migrate yearly, two long trips a year for those that do not die either going south or returning north, some flying as far as Canada. The summer feeding grounds and the distant wintering sites must be preserved, or this insect will cease to survive. And the multiple routes of migration across North America must provide food for them to arrive at their destinations

Annie Hart and her dedicated volunteers are determined to play a part in easing this stress, not only by celebrating the beautiful winged insect, but in educating and encouraging interested persons in the process of building host/nurture gardens for the Monarchs. The annual Festivals are a pleasurable experience: But the foundational purpose of preserving milkweed habitat will also support this tiny struggling specie and bring satisfactory fulfillment to those involved in a quality cause of assisting a hapless beautiful creature.

An interesting side note about milkweed is that its sap has a natural repellent in it that helps protect the caterpillar from attack via birds, other predators. But mice, a certain type of oriole and a grosbeak can still eat the Monarch and not get sick. The similar appearing Viceroy, pictured above on white milkweed, greatly mimics the look of a Monarch so it doesn't get eaten as much, via its copycat looks.

The Sierra Chincua Mountain Range to the north and far west is  above  Mexico City. The major butterfly sanctuaries are here, in proportion of a few dozen acres of high mountain peak slopes..
The Sierra Chincua Mountain Range to the north and far west is above Mexico City. The major butterfly sanctuaries are here, in proportion of a few dozen acres of high mountain peak slopes..
A pine tree trunk in Mexico is covered with Monarch butterflies.  photo, Wall Street Journal, 1984
A pine tree trunk in Mexico is covered with Monarch butterflies. photo, Wall Street Journal, 1984
Butterflies in Michoacan, Mexico cling and hang from trees by the millions.  photo by Purdue.edu
Butterflies in Michoacan, Mexico cling and hang from trees by the millions. photo by Purdue.edu

Mexican natives have known of the Monarch Migration annual occurrence for possibly centuries.

One of the foremost wintering sites for multiple millions of Monarchs is Michoacan, Mexico. It is factual legend that when the clouds of fluttering orange and black creatures gathered yearly on forest areas there, the native peoples celebrated it as ‘the Festival of the Dead’, because they believed it was their ancestors revisiting them.

There have been write-ups of the discovery and research regarding this extraordinary yearly occurrence in magazines such as the National Geographic, Arizona Highways and other nature-based magazines. A few years back PBS television programming shared a chronicle of this magnificent discovery – one that was amazingly recent considering our technological and scientific abilities. We know today that the ‘visitation’ is an immense bio-scientific occurrence and the study of the Monarch migration routes, habitat and survival requirements is ongoing. (Anyone may join in this research with small effort and as little or much involvement as desired. Links to explore this possibility are at the end of this article.)

On a modern day scale, literally at this year’s Jerusalem Monarch Festival, such a tenderly similar story to this legend was brought to mind by the following incident...

Leah is a young lady who volunteered to be a parking assistant for the Jerusalem Monarch Festival.

While she was directing cars to parking areas, an older man drove up and remarked “I shouldn’t be here”. Perceptively, Leah asked him why he said that and he replied, “My wife wanted to come to the first Festival and we didn’t come. Then she wanted to come to the second Festival and we did not attend. Now this is the third one and she has died. I just can’t stay.” The gentleman then left and about fifteen minutes later, he returned. As Leah again directed him to park, he told her this: While I was driving, a beautiful white butterfly flew inside my car. I just had to come back.”

Later he found Leah and proudly shared with that her he had spent all nine dollars he had with him, and was so very glad he had decided to attend!

Mother Milkweed, aka Annie Hart visits with others as she carries her milkweed seed .
Mother Milkweed, aka Annie Hart visits with others as she carries her milkweed seed .
'Butterflies' gather to hear the names of lucky children announced who get to help release a real butterfly on its southern journey.
'Butterflies' gather to hear the names of lucky children announced who get to help release a real butterfly on its southern journey.
Peeking into the butterfly holding tent. One of the nectar gardens is in in foreground.
Peeking into the butterfly holding tent. One of the nectar gardens is in in foreground.
Kay Webb, Co-founder and butterfly enthusiast wears beautiful rainbow wings and a butterfly on her shoulder.
Kay Webb, Co-founder and butterfly enthusiast wears beautiful rainbow wings and a butterfly on her shoulder.

There is more than celebration; assistance and freedom and responsibility play a part in the festivities of the Jerusalem Monarch Migration Celebration.

Mother Milkweed, also known as Annie Hart, strolled round about, busily checking events, answering questions, and being greeted by friends, visitors and volunteers. She is the capable Founder/Director of the yearly Monarch Migration Festival and a busy confident lady, filled with the joy of being able to assist a disadvantaged natural resource --the Monarch butterfly. That indeed is the purpose of the butterfly Festival --to educate others of the need for and to assist in development of host gardens for the comeback of the Monarch.

In 2002 an exceptional freeze in Mexico killed a large percentage of the over-wintering Monarchs there. This has been estimated to have been 80% of the Monarch population which meant hundreds of thousands of them died. Also the decreasing food supply for the larval caterpillar and butterfly remains a concern along the migration routes all across North America to and from Mexico. Monarchs lay their eggs on the migratory routes back north and must find suitable habitat to nurture their larvae: Milkweed plants. Period.

Since the Jerusalem/Cole site is a known migration track, the general area needs to be locally abundant in food supply for the traveling butterflies. Some do spend summers in the vicinity and the host plants for caterpillar/chrysalis development are beginning to be multiplied to assist the rebounding population of the Monarch, but more nectar gardens are needed.

(Note: A map of the officially mapped migration routes in the United States is found in the article about the 2009 Cole Butterfly Festival.) The central Oklahoma area from northern border to southern border has been officially mapped as known migration pathways, though the visible numbers sway up and down with the flow of the migratory flight variation.  Other colorful maps of migratory routes may be found at monarch-butterfly.info/maps.

Monarch tags identify the locality from which they are released. Tagged butterflies are officially recorded when located for tracking their routes.

Annie and her effervescent volunteers not only arrange to help caregivers of the Monarch larvae, chrysalis and butterflies, they have official ‘tagging rights’ of each butterfly released from this local area. The numbered and locally identified tagged butterflies are sought and their routes logged, either along the way or in Mexico, thus facilitating increased information about the vast miles these fragile but determined butterflies must fly each year. It does not hinder the butterfly’s ability to fly to be tagged.

Linda Schemmer demonstrates how to hold the fragile butterfly for tagging before it is released. The tiny tag is on her forefinger as Linda explainsl how to apply it.
Linda Schemmer demonstrates how to hold the fragile butterfly for tagging before it is released. The tiny tag is on her forefinger as Linda explainsl how to apply it.
Monarchs awaiting their turn to start the  long flight to Mexico.  They will be tagged with local identification, then released. Nectar plants are in the tent so butterflies may feed at will.
Monarchs awaiting their turn to start the long flight to Mexico. They will be tagged with local identification, then released. Nectar plants are in the tent so butterflies may feed at will.
The underside of a Monarch butterfly inside the holding tent.
The underside of a Monarch butterfly inside the holding tent.
A butterfly nectar garden in the central area of the Jerusalem Community Park.  Local volunteers help care for the garden.  Another garden is in left background area.
A butterfly nectar garden in the central area of the Jerusalem Community Park. Local volunteers help care for the garden. Another garden is in left background area.
Michael was a cheerful assistant in tying on the butterfly gifts to wrists, where they would flutter about in the Children's Parade.
Michael was a cheerful assistant in tying on the butterfly gifts to wrists, where they would flutter about in the Children's Parade.

Questions? Lots of answers are available!

The volunteers of the Monarch Migration Festival are offering assistance to any small community in central Oklahoma in educating and advising on formulating local nectar gardens. Thus, the choice was made to have the Festival at Jerusalem Community Center where the new summer gardens had been planted and cared for by local peoples. Of unique delight was the giant caterpillar in front of a main nectar garden. Annie explained that when the garden area was dug out, the hefty mound of dirt was going to have to be hauled away -- another heavy load of work! Then someone came up with the brilliant idea of covering the long soil berm with canvas, painting it like a Monarch caterpillar, fitting it with pipe 'feelers' and large rocks painted black for the eyes! Wonderful and perfect! The caterpillar belonged! It is a pleasing place for the children to climb, pretend, and pose for pictures. And they did. Of course the nectar flowers beside it are bright and inviting for all variety of winged creatures both for food and restfulness, but visual enjoyment for we who do not possess wings

Grandpa and grand-kids enjoying the warm sunshine and Mr. Caterpillar at the Festival.
Grandpa and grand-kids enjoying the warm sunshine and Mr. Caterpillar at the Festival.
The caterpillar, nectar garden and lawn view north  to the blue butterfly holding tent.
The caterpillar, nectar garden and lawn view north to the blue butterfly holding tent.

The Blanchard 4-H Club had prepared several exhibits.

Inside the Community building, instructors and leaders of Blanchard 4-H club presided over interesting live exhibits of colorful caterpillars, chrysalises and butterflies their students have nurtured during the year. There are lots of well studied and arranged displays of metamorphosis, of birthing butterflies, feeding and caring of caterpillars and chrysalises. Educational materials on host and nectar seeds and plants are made available and some of the best local type seeds and plants are also yours for a donation

Click to enlarge picture view.

Nora, of Blanchard 4-H Club demonstrates her student's handiwork and has lots of educational brochures also.
Nora, of Blanchard 4-H Club demonstrates her student's handiwork and has lots of educational brochures also.
Donna, of Blanchard 4-H Club is selling some goodies to a butterfly interested person.
Donna, of Blanchard 4-H Club is selling some goodies to a butterfly interested person.
The pupae are invisibly changing - there were over fifteen of them in the cage as well as larvae and butterflies - a full life cycle demo.
The pupae are invisibly changing - there were over fifteen of them in the cage as well as larvae and butterflies - a full life cycle demo.
Got MILKweed?  Artwork by the Blanchard 4-H capable kids.  Milkweeds are the ONLY host plants for Monarch butterfly larvae.
Got MILKweed? Artwork by the Blanchard 4-H capable kids. Milkweeds are the ONLY host plants for Monarch butterfly larvae.
A proud dad studies the butterfly exhibits with his very interested daughter.
A proud dad studies the butterfly exhibits with his very interested daughter.

Educational activities with a purpose can help afford the maturing of responsible action.

Nora and Donna, who are leaders of the Blanchard 4-H Club, supervised the displays inside the Community Building and had competent knowledgeable young assistants there to also answer questions and explain their demonstrations. (Also selling yummy peanut, chocolate and other goodies!) There were well-done portrayals of life stages of the butterfly. It was true hands-on education with visual results of excellence. They depict the usefulness of a well directed educational experience and substantiate a realistic exciting learning process through constructive activities.

Their cage for larva had over fifteen pupae and a few newly hatched butterflies, all hanging from the afforded wires, invisibly changing, or revitalizing themselves for their coming trip. Vital for the larval feeding was milkweed of which there are about 15 species in Oklahoma. Butterfly weed and antelope horn are two common plants of this type. Nectar seeds like the zinnia, lantana, sedum, sunflower, salvias, castor bean and others were available as well as printed information on their planting and care.

Additionally, other herbals like dill, fennel and parsley are prime host plants for the beautiful Black Swallowtail, which is our Oklahoma state butterfly, a lovely companion to the bright Monarch. The Blanchard 4-H Club had a large glassed display of many butterflies labeled with their descriptions.

A Viceroy butterfly feeds on the nectar of many locally grown flower types.  This one was on prolific pale lavender blossoms last spring.
A Viceroy butterfly feeds on the nectar of many locally grown flower types. This one was on prolific pale lavender blossoms last spring.

Delicious home-baked foods: Lots of choices!

And of course the Home-Baked Sale was a focal point of busy-ness all day. There were so many different breads, pastries, cookies, muffins, pies, cakes and all were luscious, exuding tempting fragrance of spice and sweet. My favorite again was the nutty carrot cake, but my daughter delegated that honor to the spicy pumpkin bread she purchased. We ate our treats relaxing in the shade near the ‘picture-taking butterfly board’.

Coffee, carrot cake and chocolate brownie...that's NOT the end of it! More muffins, pies, cookies...Yum!

You may click on most pictures to enlarge view.

Big sister smiles beautifully as a Monarch!
Big sister smiles beautifully as a Monarch!
Happy little brother enjoys his turn posing too.
Happy little brother enjoys his turn posing too.
But Mom, I am NOT ready  to get down yet!
But Mom, I am NOT ready to get down yet!

Sister and brother gleefully pose in front of the Monarch.

This giant Monarch picture-background was available for photographers and those who wanted to pose. The large detailed board was set up with a hay bale to stand or sit upon. It was fun to watch each child climb to stand and smile, wave, wiggle, pose, and ‘become the butterfly’ for a few seconds. Oh, the innocent delight of children! And the treasure-taking moms, pops, grandparents; all vied for having the most fun!

This young sister and brother took turns climbing on the hap bale to pose in front of the Monarch for their smiling pictures. Mom got her photos of sister, then little brother finally got his turn. He joyously clowned for the camera, obviously having a grand time. Then when Mom said 'That's all, it's time to go.", he did NOT want to get down. (Note: This picture was also posted on www.ulocal.koco.com where it was favorited with five star votes in the 'Cute Kids' category.)

There were filmy butterfly wings for sale and butterfly headdresses. Also butterfly trinkets and bookmarks, and wands...and yard decorations for any preference whether floral metals or wooden holders, even wind socks. The bottled water tent was kept busy handing over icy dripping bottles that were refreshing to the palate after all that delicious confectionery.

One vendor had plants for butterfly gardens as well as a vast variety of décor to also 'plant' in the gardens:  Things like large metal flowers, butterflies, geometric designs coupled with varied pots and other lawn decor. 

Vendors of butterfly related wares -- and painters of little faces caught the attention of everyone.

Butterfly nurturing plants, seeds, instructions, pots, decor, all were available to browse.
Butterfly nurturing plants, seeds, instructions, pots, décor, all were available to browse.
She is sitting motionless -- frozen with anticipation -- as the face-painter transforms her into a fantasy butterfly.
She is sitting motionless -- frozen with anticipation -- as the face-painter transforms her into a fantasy butterfly.
She still cannot move nor open her eyes.  Wonder what she is thinking, sitting so still?
She still cannot move nor open her eyes. Wonder what she is thinking, sitting so still?
In just a moment, she discovers she has become a beautifully amazing butterfly!
In just a moment, she discovers she has become a beautifully amazing butterfly!

That crammed full butterfly-face-painting-tent was a delight to visit and watch as expectant little faces became butterfly-designed happiness. The talented face-painter was busily fast, excellent, and enjoyed the pleasure of decorating children.

It was interesting and touching fun to watch a child remain motionless for face-painting and then see their admiring amazement at a first glimpse in the mirror! Delightful!

So many gorgeous butterfy faces --and delighted hearts!

These three happy children shared their butterfly enjoyment with each other and the camera!
These three happy children shared their butterfly enjoyment with each other and the camera!

You don't mean to tell me you're still hungry?

Jimmy White, head chef, kept himself and crew busy grilling what must have seemed like jillions of ‘dogs’! His main assistants were his brother Raymond, and Norman; and Margaret McKinney from Blanchard. Thank you guys and gals for your delicious, efficient hard work!

Is this a 'breather'?  I think I'm hungry now, too!
Is this a 'breather'? I think I'm hungry now, too!
Checking the grilled hotdogs!  They smelled so-o good!
Checking the grilled hotdogs! They smelled so-o good!
Butterfly wings surround the announcer as he is going to call out the name of a child who gets to release a butterfly.  His own purple wings were a sight to admire!
Butterfly wings surround the announcer as he is going to call out the name of a child who gets to release a butterfly. His own purple wings were a sight to admire!

Lunch, and butterflies and helping hands - they were everywhere.

All those helpers who kept huge hotdogs on the grills, to be piled high with mayo, mustard, ketchup, relish, and extra-long sausages that spiced the tongue did a jovial and efficient job of keeping the ‘dogs’ coming as people lined up to purchase lunch. It seemed that every volunteer was courteous and generously friendly to any who would accept a smile or a lighthearted laugh of 'community'. The camaraderie was contagious - people and butterflies were all having a wonderful time, each in its own friendly way; i.e. visiting with each other, visiting flowers, wafting the light breeze or escaping the excited hands of friendly children--who maybe had just downed their hotdog!

This young lady caught the huge grasshopper at an edge of the butterfly tent and displayed it for the camera.
This young lady caught the huge grasshopper at an edge of the butterfly tent and displayed it for the camera.
This threesome was having a lot of fun with their butterfly painted faces and enjoyed posing for the camera.
This threesome was having a lot of fun with their butterfly painted faces and enjoyed posing for the camera.
This cute butterfly costumed child was given a special colorful headdress by a relative.  She was quiet, sweet, and enjoying the festivities.
This cute butterfly costumed child was given a special colorful headdress by a relative. She was quiet, sweet, and enjoying the festivities.
These gals and a guy looked fantastic in their painted faces - and were happy to share their fun!
These gals and a guy looked fantastic in their painted faces - and were happy to share their fun!

Monarchs were periodically released from the holding tent after being tagged, thus starting their long flight south.

This year tickets could be inexpensively purchased for children to assist releasing a butterfly to begin its journey to Mexico. Previously there were too many clamoring, for all to 'help', so the ticket idea was an ideal solution as to who would have the privilege of starting a Monarch on its long trip. About every thirty minutes or so a name would be drawn from the ticket basket and that lucky child would cautiously assist Linda Schemmer, 'The Butterfly Lady' who would explain how to gently hold the fragile creature and then release to let it begin its journey south. Each time of release the circle of moms and dads, aunties, grandparents and friends would take pictures and "Hooray" as the deed was accomplished. One more winged beauty would begin its instinctive journey of ‘impossible accomplishment’.

Linda Schemmer was busy again and again telling us how to hold, tag, release the fragile Monarch for flight.
Linda Schemmer was busy again and again telling us how to hold, tag, release the fragile Monarch for flight.
This lucky girl carefully prepared to tag a Monarch before she helps release it.
This lucky girl carefully prepared to tag a Monarch before she helps release it.
Linda Schemmer demonstrates again how to hold a butterfly without injury to either its body or wings.
Linda Schemmer demonstrates again how to hold a butterfly without injury to either its body or wings.
This amazed child has just watched a Monarch take to the sky from her hand - on its way to Mexico.
This amazed child has just watched a Monarch take to the sky from her hand - on its way to Mexico.
A new crowd gathered for each release time.  It was an exciting event for a lucky child, the relatives, and all who watched the Monarch fly.
A new crowd gathered for each release time. It was an exciting event for a lucky child, the relatives, and all who watched the Monarch fly.

Ongoing research began with a curious biologist from Canada.

A Canadian biologist, Fred Urquhart, began Monarch tagging research in 1952. In the early 1970s the pattern of Mexico/North American migration tracks had emerged. A comparatively few number of Monarchs west of the Continental Divide overwinter in a limited area of southern California, though their number is in the many thousands. Two major sites there are Monterey County and Pismo Beach State Park. The Monarchs east of the Continental Divide travel various routes to Mexico to one or more of the three major known winter sites in the Sierra Chincua mountain range. Angangueo sanctuary location on the lee side of the high peak lies about sixty miles northwest of Mexico City while another known site in Michoacan is about eighty miles west of Angangueo.

These sites are only a few acres of pine and oyamel tree forest and as the Monarchs arrive, trees become covered so heavily the branches are laden with fragile bodies and trunks are totally covered with them. As researchers for National Geographic have photographed and logged their discoveries through the years, they find themselves are places for the clinging-hanging butterflies also.

The sluggishness of cold affects the butterflies but as the day warms, they become more active. As they continue to mature, some mate at the site to lay their eggs on milkweeds as they return north to summer home habitat.

Rodents, as well as an oriole and a grosbeak are the major natural predators to the monarch at the Mexico site as well as on the trip home. (Other birds become ill or die if eating Monarchs, as the milkweed sap contains poisons to cause this and its ingestion as a caterpillar still protects the adult.)

One theory of the Monarch’s ability to migrate unerringly as far as 2500 miles was discovered in the early 1980s. It was found that Monarchs harbor the mineral magnetite in their bodies. This mineral has the ability to align north via the earth’s magnetic field, and some scientists believe this allows a biological compass to guide the butterflies. This could be feasible explanation as many Monarchs make the trip only one unerring time.

Many happy 'butterflied' people strolled the lawns.

Mom says this three month old was the youngest butterfly admirer at the Festival.  Mom enjoyed the celebration activities also.
Mom says this three month old was the youngest butterfly admirer at the Festival. Mom enjoyed the celebration activities also.
This elderly gentleman quietly enjoyed the activities around from his chair on the porch of the Community Building.  He may have been the oldest admirer present.  He is Calvin Burns, a local farmer and long time friend of the Jerusalem Community.
This elderly gentleman quietly enjoyed the activities around from his chair on the porch of the Community Building. He may have been the oldest admirer present. He is Calvin Burns, a local farmer and long time friend of the Jerusalem Community.
This sweet child was watching the butterfly release moment with great interest.
This sweet child was watching the butterfly release moment with great interest.
Examining a nectar garden - admiring it too!
Examining a nectar garden - admiring it too!
These cheerful  boys liked the ability of the butterfly to flit and bounce and look beautiful too! Each butterfly had some glow-in-the-dark paint.
These cheerful boys liked the ability of the butterfly to flit and bounce and look beautiful too! Each butterfly had some glow-in-the-dark paint.
Emma Alexander and Jensen Bridges of Blanchard share a huge hug of happiness at the Monarch Festival.    Permission for photo by Kay Webb.
Emma Alexander and Jensen Bridges of Blanchard share a huge hug of happiness at the Monarch Festival. Permission for photo by Kay Webb.
Linda Schemmer and Loretta Jackson are going to release  Monarchs  to start  their instinctive flight. Loretta came all the way from Chickasha to visit the Festival.  Photo permission by Kay Webb.
Linda Schemmer and Loretta Jackson are going to release Monarchs to start their instinctive flight. Loretta came all the way from Chickasha to visit the Festival. Photo permission by Kay Webb.

Ah! The Children's Butterfly Parade!

And then there was the jovial costumed Butterfly Parade as a highlight of the afternoon! This year each child was given a large glittering butterfly decoration to tie on a wrist to flit around while marching in the parade. There were so many butterflies, flowers, beautiful costumes, diaphanous wings, each one unique and every one delightful! Every child - and some enticing adults too - was a magnificent display of butterfly delight, whether just wearing wings or donning a full gossamer costume.

With Annie Hart leading the parade and industriously scattering her milkweed seeds, the parade wove its way from the north side, west past the vendor tents, around to the southern front butterfly garden area – and that inviting caterpillar. There the children sat on their immobile striped friend and posed for lots of pictures. Surely, many memories were gathered that day both in mind and in photo, and just as certain, many will be treasured for lifetimes to come.

4 second video of Monarch being released. It was ready to GO!

Children's Butterfly Parade, Jerusalem Community Park.

The Butterfly Parade ended at the giant caterpillar for picture-posing.  Annie Hart is at far right, reveling and relaxing in the joy of another Festival so enjoyed by others!
The Butterfly Parade ended at the giant caterpillar for picture-posing. Annie Hart is at far right, reveling and relaxing in the joy of another Festival so enjoyed by others!
Sabra, 'daughter' of Frank Childers was a hit of the Butterfly Parade, with her pink butterfly wings on her collar. She magnificently rode in her red wagon all the way!
Sabra, 'daughter' of Frank Childers was a hit of the Butterfly Parade, with her pink butterfly wings on her collar. She magnificently rode in her red wagon all the way!
The butterfly-children enjoyed the attention of cameras, moms, pops, grandpas, aunties and many others as they sat on the caterpillar.
The butterfly-children enjoyed the attention of cameras, moms, pops, grandpas, aunties and many others as they sat on the caterpillar.
The after-parade photographing was enjoyable for all who watched the gaiety.
The after-parade photographing was enjoyable for all who watched the gaiety.
These lovely young ladies posed with their matching butterfly wings.
These lovely young ladies posed with their matching butterfly wings.
Sabra is still patiently posing for all those busy photographers.
Sabra is still patiently posing for all those busy photographers.
This darling purple butterfly shyly posed on Mr. Caterpillar while Daddy encouraged her.  She was a sweet  little butterfly.
This darling purple butterfly shyly posed on Mr. Caterpillar while Daddy encouraged her. She was a sweet little butterfly.
Happiness is being butterflies together and getting to pose on a caterpillar - especially at the wonderful Monarch Migration Celebration!
Happiness is being butterflies together and getting to pose on a caterpillar - especially at the wonderful Monarch Migration Celebration!

Celebrations have facets, and freedom is one...

This year’s event attendance was likely somewhat decreased by the occurrence of two other ‘festivals’ on this same day: The nearby OU/TX football game, and the Yukon Czech Festival. However, the approximately five-hundred plus number of those attending the Monarch Migration Celebration is not nearly important perhaps, as the fact that the gregarious and companionable attendees chose to share their pleasurable activities together, and in honor of a tiny beautiful creature – the instinctively brave, fragile, determined, helpless, distinctive Monarch Butterfly: May they ever return!

Another poignant facet of the Jerusalem Community Monarch Celebration 2010 was the small cemetery alongside the Festival grounds. There are partial views of that area in several of the pictures shown. The well-kept fenced memorial park has a huge ancient juniper-type tree near the entrance. Its gigantic scarred trunk is worn with the struggle of years and storms and its high-reaching limbs are still hovering over the gravesides of veterans buried there among friends and family. A granite memorial list of veterans whose lives were sacrificed-- and many of those in the Mid-east wars -- stands close to the entry gate under the archaic juniper, and several of the deceased heroes bore the same last names. It was a captivating response to note the commemorative stone and the several honored names engraved.

It is fitting to remember that the celebration of families and friends today was freely accomplished because of those very heroes who now rest near that stalwart juniper, and their memory should receive admiration, respect and reverence --our gratitude-- from we who may still live in the freedom they purchased with their sacrifice! May God bless the good in America, the many families of those who died, and those now who still work to preserve it.

This granite Memorial Stone bears the names of many veterans who bore the same last name.  It stands at the entryway to the cemetery.
This granite Memorial Stone bears the names of many veterans who bore the same last name. It stands at the entryway to the cemetery.
Happy protected children is what it is about...
Happy protected children is what it is about...
Old Glory waves in freedom in the  skies of Oklahoma.  May  it ever stand, as the butterflies wend their wings among the happy children.
Old Glory waves in freedom in the skies of Oklahoma. May it ever stand, as the butterflies wend their wings among the happy children.

Another facet, another tree.

An elm sapling stands decorated with paper lanterns as symbols of bright hope, and fluttering butterfly decorations in its branches. It grows in the southern front lawn of these historic acres, tended well through the hot dry summers. It is a sapling grown from the Survivor Tree seeds at the Oklahoma City Murrah Memorial Site, (Oklahoma City National Memorial) donated to the historic Jerusalem Community.

The reproduction of that memorable Survivor Tree, in the hundreds now, is a symbol of a people free to seek happiness, and freedom to defend that right. It is a symbol of ‘natural courage', the unseen healing processes of Nature that we may not fully understand, but seen in the magnificence of the Survivor Tree now as compared to when it was nearly destroyed.

Yes, it required the help of authoritative knowledgeable helpers, too. There are pictures of that same lone tree in the earliest pioneer days of Oklahoma City, a young sturdy elm where wagons and horses found shade as the history of our city birthed. (Note: Pictures are archived at the Oklahoma Historical Museum of that young elm in the dirt streets of Oklahoma City.)

The Jerusalem Community Park sapling descendant of the OKC Survivor Tree.
The Jerusalem Community Park sapling descendant of the OKC Survivor Tree.
The memorial dedication stone by the sapling.
The memorial dedication stone by the sapling.
The Survivor Tree at the Oklahoma City National Memorial Dedication.  Badly damaged branches had been previously removed.
The Survivor Tree at the Oklahoma City National Memorial Dedication. Badly damaged branches had been previously removed.
The Survivor Tree about ten years later.  Nature and knowledge may work together to build firm bridges to  recovery, health and happiness.
The Survivor Tree about ten years later. Nature and knowledge may work together to build firm bridges to recovery, health and happiness.
A yellow Sulphur snacks on a bright flower - and gives beauty to the appreciative world.
A yellow Sulphur snacks on a bright flower - and gives beauty to the appreciative world.
I've got mine!  Thank you!  Now she is ready to march in the Childrens Parade.
I've got mine! Thank you! Now she is ready to march in the Childrens Parade.
Picking out a butterfly to wear in the Childrens Butterfly Parade.
Picking out a butterfly to wear in the Childrens Butterfly Parade.
Young or old, the welcome of festival activities gives a beautiful lift to a sunny day.
Young or old, the welcome of festival activities gives a beautiful lift to a sunny day.
Bright orange Lantana is a vigorous nectar blossom for butterflies.
Bright orange Lantana is a vigorous nectar blossom for butterflies.
The lowly determined and sturdily beautiful sunflower is a gift of concentrated sunshine.
The lowly determined and sturdily beautiful sunflower is a gift of concentrated sunshine.

As we have celebrated today and look to the future, the hope for good peoples is to garner courage in facing the troublesome facets of our personal worlds, our world:  To seek assisting and protecting the prospects of our children and all worthy helpless; then in so doing find simple fulfillment that brings ‘companionship of home-folk’ to the heart of every one.

And may we ever enjoy the meandering company of butterflies, soaring admirably down the fragile pathways of centuries old freedom.

Anyone interested may be involved in ongoing research activities.

The study and research of butterflies is a science to which any interested amateur can contribute. The simple knowledge required and the amount of time invested may be minimal, or could become a shared fulfillment of excitement that gains from long term involvement.

Any who wish further information regarding Monarch Support assistance, planting host/nectar gardens, delving into volunteer projects as needed, or to grant a donation of funds, may contact Annie Hart at P.O. Box 671, Blanchard, Ok 73010. Generally a SASE or LSASE is requested, depending on the materials you want.

Links: These links are offered for you to explore, to involve yourself and others in learning, and perhaps assisting in this ongoing rejuvenating project.

www.livemonarch.com free milkweed seeds

www.monarchwatch.com official tagging program information

www.wildthingsnursery.com native OK plants for butterflies

www.thebutterflysite.com lists of nectar and host plants

Comments 64 comments

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

I jumped on all the buttons. I apologize but I even hit the "funny" button. I just love those Monarch Flutterbies!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

What a great time all of those people appeared to be having at the Jerusalem Monarch Butterfly Celebration! You did a great job explaining all about Monarch butterflies and their struggle to survive amidst logging, pesticides and the like. Rating this useful, beautiful and up! Thanks!


Jeannie 6 years ago

I loved the photos of all the happy butterfly faces!

Nice reporting!


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America Author

Peggy W and Jeannie too, those 'butterfly faces' were all over the place and so happy to 'compare' each other. It was a fun time. And yes, I learned a lot about the difficulty of the Monarch survival - and some things we can do about these beautiful pollinators. Thank you for enjoying the butterflies!


Raymond Tremain profile image

Raymond Tremain 6 years ago from Metro Manila Philippines

Well I can see that everybody had a great time even the dog had a butterfly on him, lovely pix.

God loves all

ramon xo


Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 6 years ago

This deserves tons of SHARE #LOVE. As I scrolled to view the documentation of this fabulous event, it just kept getting better and better. More colorful, brighter, tons of fun and better than going to the State Fair. Must have been many outstanding planners and talented face-painters. All along, trying to decide which was my favorite photo. I liked the tree trunk covered in butterflies, the happy faces, the littlest butterfly, the elder gentleman, and every bit of this Hub. Wish I was there. Love, Debby

P.S. Can we find you in any of these photos?


sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

Wish I'd been there!


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America Author

Raymond, Debby and Sheila, thank you for stopping by to enjoy the beauty of it all - it was a delightful day. And Debby, I think you see my shadow in one photo?? :-)

I have heard of several festivals in parts of our country, so if you ever get a chance...GO!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

Hi, Oh Wow! what a fantastic hub! and the photos are beautiful, I recently went to the Natural History Museum in Londoon, and went through the butterfly tent, I am sure I had a few of these species landing on me! they were huge! it was a great day, and I would love to have been at your lovely day out, loved it, cheers nell


Mr Nice profile image

Mr Nice 6 years ago from North America

Hi frogyfish,

This is very informative hub about Monarch Butterflies and the Jerusalem Monarch Butterfly Celebration. I really love butterflies because they are so beautiful.

There is only one problem, butterflies don't stick to one flower, they fly from one flower to another and another.....hahaha just kidding. I really enjoyed your hub. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and keep up the good hubs.:)


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

A wonderful hub about a beautiful celebration. I'll never tear up milkweed again.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America Author

Nell Rose and Mr. Nice, thank you for enjoying the Butterflies. I agree about the beauty of those creatures!

Mr. Nice, 'that' is called "pollination", right? :-)

Delores Monet, I also will not pull up that milkweed ever again. I had no idea it was THE food. Thank you all three for visiting and letting me know!


bettybarnesb profile image

bettybarnesb 5 years ago from Bartlett, TN

I like to refer to them as "silent beauties." I remember one Sunday morning several years ago, I walked outside to get into my car to go to Church and several butterflies were enjoying my flower beds, it took my breath away. It is a picture in my mind that will always remember. The sky was so blue that morning and it was a gentle breeze in the air. That was a private moment I had with God and His creation.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 5 years ago from Central United States of America Author

bettybarnesh, thanks for stopping by to visit the 'silent beauties'. I never thought of them that way, but it is so fitting! What a beautiful picture you have to remember! Those moments can remain treasures!


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

Wow..... very interesting hub. I never knew about this festival before. I liked your presentation and you have stunning picture. This is must be a great festival. Thanks for share with us. I should to know this early on. That's why I love join HP, because I can see other culture in the world even this festival. Thank you very much. I give my Vote to you. God bless you!

Prasetio:)


Kiwi Gardener 5 years ago

Hi, I love your site and the 'party' that must surely make youngsters more aware of the beauty that is there.

However, I found that a strain of wasp that is new to me, likes to eat the caterpillers. So watch out for them, or you will wonder why you are getting no progress. I personally called these a type of solitary wasp as they do not look like the bee shaped common wasp I know. The ones seen here in NZ look a lot lighter built, slimmer and appear to be all wings and legs.They have a small paper type nest built it bushes.

All the best in your great inspired programme, I love it.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 5 years ago from Central United States of America Author

Prasetio30, very pleased that you enjoyed the butterfly festival information. I'm sure you have beautiful ones in your country also. I do enjoy HP with you too!

Kiwi Gardener, thanks for comment. And your new wasp enemy is something I hope not to see! Thank you so much for sharing your info here too.


NoRR4Me profile image

NoRR4Me 5 years ago

Wow, what a nice hub with awesome pictures! I love Butterflies. They're amazing creatures. Thanks for sharing.


ImChemist profile image

ImChemist 5 years ago

I like this pictures its so beautiful , buts its seem long hub.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 5 years ago from Central United States of America Author

ImChemist, I agree this hub is 'too' long. I did not mean to make it that way, but with all the pictures and then the veterans honorarium and Murrah information, it added more than maybe desirable.

But thank you for visiting, and thank you very much for your comment!


Cathy Crowley profile image

Cathy Crowley 5 years ago from Dallas Texas

Hi Froggyfish! I just couldn't wait to see what you like to write about, I just love butterfly's too! I just got back from Martinique and we visited the most wonderful butterfly garden in the Rain Forest. I will blog about it soon. Your pictures of the Event are Awesome! All your information, definetly want to put this event on my calendar!

Being in Dallas I am going to try and get time off for this event, maybe see you there! Thanks very much and I look forward to getting to know you.


daydreamer13 profile image

daydreamer13 5 years ago

This is very cool and very interesting. I learned something today and that's always a good thing. Thank you for this!


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 5 years ago from Central United States of America Author

Cathy Crowley and daydreamer13, thank you for your visit and comment. I have become a butterfly fan after attending the festivals and think they are beautiful!

Butterfly blogging is much more popular than I would have imagined...go for it! :-)


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Great Hub and awesome pictures! The Monarch is one of my favorite butterflies. Whenever I see one, I drop what I am doing and go watch it! Maybe I will try to plant more milkweed at my old house!


quester.ltd profile image

quester.ltd 5 years ago

Thanks for this wonderful HP

voted up and beautiful

q


naturegirl7 profile image

naturegirl7 5 years ago from South Louisiana

It looks like everyone is having so much fun while learning about butterflies. Great pictures and hub.

I've featured it on my Monarchs and Milkweed hub. I hope you don't mind.


daydreamer13 profile image

daydreamer13 5 years ago

Came back to this. I love butterflies!


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 5 years ago from Central United States of America Author

Scribenet, do plant the milkweed...all kinds of it! Too many habitats for nectar/food are being decimated by chemicals, city-life.

quester.ltd, thank you for visiting the butterfly fun.

naturegirl7, the Festival is lots of simply beautiful fun/friendship. Glad you featured it, that's great to share.

daydreamer13, thank you for visiting...I do like your avatar!


carriethomson profile image

carriethomson 5 years ago from United Kingdom

excellent hub froggyfish...this is a very good way of educating and enjoying and having fun time.. the dog has butterfly wings too...and i love the butter fly face painting too.. thank you so much for posting this this definitely deserves a vote up.. and have done that


Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 5 years ago

Hello ~ I revisited this awesome Hubpage. It's so sweet. Love, Debby


Eddie-Perkins 5 years ago

This is a very entertaining, interesting and educational hub Frogyfish. Great pictures. It is amazing to me that a Monarch Butterfly travels that far. Thank you for sharing your experience with us.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

...wow!!!! you have such a terrific selection of hub subjects but this one must be your pride and joy because you have put so much love into it with such a beautiful presentation with fabulous images and heartfelt writing.

This must be the ultimate/definitive butterfly hub - and I can't say I've seen anything else quite like it - so nice to meet you my friend and thank you so much for your endorsement of my humble little hubspace - coming from such a great hubber and writer like yourself - it really means a lot!

lake erie time ontario canada 10:10pm fall is definitely in the air and perhaps time for the butterflies to fly south


Sunnie Day 5 years ago

Dear Froggy fish,

I loved this hub..What a wonderful celebration! The face painting of the children was precious..Looks like such a fun event for the family. Thank you for sharing such a great hub with loads of wonderful pic's and informaton.

Sunnie

PS I love the Monarch butterfly..one of Gods most beautiful creations for sure.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 5 years ago from Central United States of America Author

To you last several commentators--THANK YOU for visiting! I have been outside today (September 19, 2011) watching two small groups of Monarchs feeding on a Mimosa tree, and then three butterflies traveling south in OKC traffic. There are not many...perhaps around 15 combined...but even that few number is encouraging, as their nectar plants are so bedraggled, because of the drought. I had only seen ONE Monarch before today! This is the normal 'range of migration-time' in this area. (Two years there were literally hundreds flying south about this same time.)

I do not usually see them on Mimosa but there is not a lot else locally for their feeding, and that saddened me.

Again, hubbers, thank you for enjoying the beautiful butterflies!


wildwade profile image

wildwade 5 years ago from North Olmsted, Ohio

One of the absolute finest hubs I have read. Beautifully created much like the butterflies the author writes about. What a fabulous event to experience! Thank you for this hub!


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 5 years ago from Central United States of America Author

wildwade, your beauty-loving gracious nature is peeking through! Thank you for a great comment. The festival is so much 'down home' fun! Sadly, the 2011 festival had to be cancelled near the last minute.

This is first week of October -Monarch migration time- and there have been several I've photographed in my back yard in the last three weeks...but no more for several days now.


Deltachord profile image

Deltachord 5 years ago from United States

This is an informative, fun, and special hub. Thanks for helping the Monarchs.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 5 years ago from Central United States of America Author

Deltachord, glad to see you enjoyed the butterflies! Thank you for visiting and commenting!


Deltachord profile image

Deltachord 5 years ago from United States

You're welcome.


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 5 years ago

What a beautifully illustrated hub. You certainly put a lot of work into this, simply beautiful. A celebration like this for the Monarch Butterfly. We have them up here in Canada for awhile before they head south.

I have seen clusters of them under the setting prairie sun and it's spectacular to watch. I've always loved the Butterfly, I have a poem in my Hubs called the BLUE BUTTERFLY...thanks for the share, thoroughly enjoyed it.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia

Frogyfish, what a hub! I know you worked you tail off on this one:) You did a great job. What an event my friend! Voted up and all the way across for this great piece of work. See, I have never heard of the Monarch Butterflt until a few weeks ago when I read it on a hub. Simply, a job well done! Best wishes. It is one of the top hubs I have seened and should be winning you an award or something. I don't know how all that works, but I would choose it. Great work.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 5 years ago from Central United States of America Author

saddlerider1, thank you for visiting and your nice comment. I will have to go read your butterfly poem too.

Perhaps some of the Monarchs I saw this month were from YOUR area! Wow!

thelyricwriter, glad you came by and enjoyed the hub. The Monarch is a powerful reminder of perseverance in all its beauty. Glad you met them here too!


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

What a wonderful, interesting article, the photos are fabulous, I love the ones of your brother and sister!

I would love to go to this festival! I am bookmarking as there is so much here I would like to read again.

voting up, best wishes MM


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 5 years ago from Central United States of America Author

Movie Master, thank you for expressing your enjoyment of this facet of nature...and the Festival! It is indeed a great down-home family celebration time. If you learn of a butterfly festival in your area, GO! It has to be good!


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

I thoroughly enjoyed this hub about Monarch butterflies! I just had to read it after reading your more recent hub about how the drought has affected the Monarch.

I love that the community scatters milkweed seeds and teaches children how to handle the butterflies without harming them.

Wonderful pictures of people as well as the butterflies! Voted up across the board!


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 5 years ago from Central United States of America Author

Stephanie Henkel, so glad you came to visit! I do believe there are more nectar gardens being privately planted as food plants, as well as for the floral beauty. The Monarch Festival seems to be such an enjoyable and friendly atmosphere every year I have attended.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 5 years ago from Taos, NM

What a great hub! I have also written a hub on the monarch butterfly's incredible journey to Mexico which you also mention here. I have heard of the Texas/Oklahoma area where the monarchs visit and rest on their journey to Mexico. This festival is wonderful and I loved reading about it. I must come to this one year. Your photos are lovely and wonderful and the children must have had so much fun!


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 5 years ago from Central United States of America Author

suzettenaples, the Monarch migration is so incredible indeed. The Festival is always a lot of fun...food, fancy costumes, friends. 2011's had to be cancelled because of the drastic summer conditions but next year's planning is already underway, re: Annie Hart. And everyone IS welcome!


Kris Heeter profile image

Kris Heeter 5 years ago from Indiana

What a fantastic festival! The Monarch was my favorite butterfly growing up. And for years I had the desire to join one of the science research groups that studied the color patterning of butterfly wings - they are just so cool. The timing never quite worked out for that but I'm still in awe of these little guys!


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 5 years ago from Central United States of America Author

Kris Heeter, thank you for visiting and commenting. Good to know you are a 'caretaker' also.


natures47friend profile image

natures47friend 5 years ago from Sunny Art Deco Napier, New Zealand.

What an impressive hub...must have taken ages to do.

I grow swan plants for Monarchs here..have a bit of bother with carnivorous south African praying mantids killing the larvae. If I catch one in the act its off with their head. My daughter will run inside to grab the kitchen scissors for the occasion. And at least the mantid will not eat again!..lol


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 4 years ago from Central United States of America Author

Natures47friend, oh you are a protector! I can just imagine that scene! Thanks for visiting and enjoying the hub.


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 4 years ago from The Midwest, USA

Wow...this is a rather amazing hub about such a cool event. I love butterflies of all kinds, but Monarchs are especially wonderful in many ways. I think its wonderful this little city outside of Norman does such a cool thing. I have planted milkweed myself for the butterflies. I thought it interesting that Oklahoma has over 15 varieties or so. I didn't even know there were that many. It makes one almost want to encourage all the neighbors to plant milkweeds! They do have such pretty flowers.

So glad you shared all of this. You really made my day. I would love to attend such an event. It warms my heart that so many others love butterflies to that degree.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 4 years ago from Central United States of America Author

oceansnsunsets, I just realized what your name REALLY is..got it right this time...neat name.

Also computer is not allowing me to approve your comment and says to report it to HubPages, so I will have to see how to do that. Anyway, thanks for visiting and enjoying the Butterfly Festival!


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 4 years ago from Southern Minnesota

loved all the photos of this event.

I also really love Monarch butterflies. When my kids were little we would hatch them in the house so we could watch the whole process. It is simply beautiful and as you well report their life cycle is nothing less than impressive.

I let any milkweed I find on my property go to ensure I get lots of monarchs around each year.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 4 years ago from Central United States of America Author

Tamarajo, glad to hear from a butterfly admirer. Good for you that you also let your kids experience the Monarchs' life cycle. I did learn a lot from the festival and researching for the hub...thought milkweed was 'just a weed'. Uh-uh!


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA

This is a fascinating article. The pictures alone are incredible. I wish I was there. I love butterflies and the monarch happens to be my favorite.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 4 years ago from Central United States of America Author

Marlene, glad you refreshed yourself with the beautiful monarchs here. 'Twas lovely to have you visit!


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

Wow, what a hub! It looks like you had a wonderful time at the Monarch Festival and what a wonderful cause. I noticed as I was doing research about my firefly hub that the butterflies were also becoming less and less. Things like this make me sad but your hub here really brings awareness! I wonder if they have a butterfly festival in Texas?

P.S. LOVED the pic of the guy with the Army cap and butterfly wings!


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 4 years ago from Central United States of America Author

Jamie Brock, glad to meet you here! It seems that someone from TX mentioned a special event for butterflies...not sure where nor what though. YOU could set up a good one, I know you could. Go for it?

P.S. HE was the NICEST guy ever and not a bit wimpy about those wispy wings either!


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

frogyfish- I am definitely going to look into it.. I think my little boy would love it also. I know butterflies are a girlie thing but he is 4 and just LOVES them :0)


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 4 years ago from Central United States of America Author

Jamie Brock, butterflies are sorta girlie...BUT they are also a BUG, so let that boy enjoy them all!


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 4 years ago from sunny Florida

hi...frogyfish...I hope the efforts to preserve the habitat are successful. Butterflies just amaze me. I can often be seen running around my yard with camera in hand trying to photograph them. I wrote about FL butterflies months ago and am going to add to it after I visit the Butterfly Rainforest in Gainesville with my sister. thank you for sharing this wonderful story...including the part about the sweet little man who mowed. The pictures are great...especially the ones of the kids with painted faces. Love this. Beautiful and pinned.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 4 years ago from Central United States of America Author

pstraubie48 glad to see another person 'running around with camera in hand' ! It is so much fun to 'get lucky' with that special shot, isn't it?

Will also be looking for a big hub on your Rainforest butterflies, ok?

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    The beautiful country area of Jerusalem Community Park, just east of Cole on Highway 74B. It is between Goldsby and Blanchard just west of I-35. Take exit 104

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