Monarch Watch holds open house; tagging event coming up

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Community members were invited to learn about and experience monarch butterflies, caterpillars and more Saturday during Monarch Watch’s Fall Open House.

Monarch Watch will hold its annual monarch tagging event on Saturday, Sept. 23. It’s free to participate and no experience is necessary, according to the organization’s website, monarchwatch.org.

Monarch tagging helps experts understand the dynamics of the monarch’s fall migration.

“Tagging helps answer questions about the origins of monarchs that reach Mexico, the timing and pace of the migration, mortality during the migration, and changes in geographic distribution,” according to the website. Read more about tagging at monarchwatch.org/tagging.

The event is set for 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 23 at the Baker Wetlands Discovery Center, 1365 North 1250 Road in Lawrence.

If you have a net, bring that, but Monarch Watch will provide tags, nets and instructions. Monarchs are usually “roosting or clustering (sometimes in spectacular concentrations!)” until around 8:30 a.m.; then, as it warms up, they begin foraging on the flowers, according to the website.

The tagging event will be at the wetlands discovery center, but Saturday’s open house invited people to “celebrate the arrival of migrating monarchs coming from the north” at Monarch Watch’s home of Foley Hall in the University of Kansas West Campus.

Molly Adams / Lawrence Times An archway welcomes visitors to the butterfly garden during the Monarch Watch Fall Open House.
Molly Adams / Lawrence Times An inanimate bucket person watches in unblinking stillness as humans and butterflies explore the garden during the open house.
Molly Adams / Lawrence Times Community members view butterflies, caterpillars, and chrysalises inside an enclosure.
Molly Adams / Lawrence Times A caterpillar explores a leaf.
Molly Adams / Lawrence Times A butterfly and chrysalises rest on a twig.
Molly Adams / Lawrence Times Caterpillars explore inside an enclosure.
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Molly Adams / Lawrence Times Community members fold origami butterflies.
Molly Adams / Lawrence Times Two injured butterflies hang out on a roll of paper towels.
Molly Adams / Lawrence Times
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Molly Adams / Lawrence Times Children fold origami butterflies.
Molly Adams / Lawrence Times Children paint rocks during the Monarch Watch Fall Open House.
Molly Adams / Lawrence Times Skulls, teeth, and a snake are on display at the Prairie Park Nature Center booth.
Molly Adams / Lawrence Times Community members view butterflies, caterpillars, and chrysalises inside an enclosure.

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Molly Adams (she/her), photojournalist and news operations coordinator for The Lawrence Times, can be reached at molly (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Check out more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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