Something new at Castle Farms – 2016

Linda releasing butterfliesGuests on a guided Tram Tour of Castle Farms were treated to a special treat in early June. Linda Mueller, owner of Castle Farms, was just getting ready to release Monarch Butterflies into her new Butterfly House. She invited the whole tour to help with the release. The butterflies were ordered online and were carefully separated between layers of cloth to keep them safe. Each butterfly needed to warm up for a couple seconds in cupped hands and then could be released into the house. The guests enjoyed the experience and took lots of photos! The House will stay up through the summer until approximately September, or when it gets too windy or cold. Stop by and see the newest royalty in their new home!

Butterfly facts:

  • Linda chose the Monarch Butterfly partially because of the name- in a Castle of King’s and Queen’s, a Monarch fits right in.
  • Monarch Butterfly populations have dropped by approximately 90%, due to hard winters and lack of milkweed plants. Some studies have pointed to increased pesticide use as a cause of milkweed reduction.
  • Butterflies enjoy such plants as zinnia, pincushion, salvia, and lantana but only lay their eggs on milkweed.
  • Linda plans to continue ordering butterflies to stock her House, and release them in batches as the temperature gets warmer, about 12 every 2 weeks.
  • Butterflies don’t fly below 62 degrees F.
  • Linda hopes to help the population of Monarchs by releasing small numbers back into the wild.
  • Eastern Monarch migration is like a relay race between Mexico and the Eastern and Northwestern United States. It takes 3 generations to fly north, and 1 to fly south to Mexico. The first 3 generations live 2-6 weeks, while the 4th generation can live up to 8 months.
  • The Butterfly House is right next to the Butterfly Garden and can be seen through an arch in the arbor. Linda hopes that the butterflies enjoy the garden before migrating on.

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