Monarchs on the Move  

Monarchs on the Move  

Monarchs on the Move  

As the monarch flutters its wings and settles on to the outstretched hand of Kaitlin Bacon, the manager of the Children’s Garden at Myriad Botanical Gardens gently lifts the beautiful orange and black butterfly out of its temporary nest.

Lily Peppers, the youth education coordinator, explains to a handful of children and their parents that it’s OK to touch the delicate creature on the underside of its wings while she carefully affixes a small sticker there. Then on the count of three, the monarch lifts off and takes flight to the cheers of all.

Each year, monarchs migrate south in winter and north in summer. To gain more information about this incredible phenomenon, and learn about the yearly monarch migration to their wintering spot in central Mexico and back, tagging was initiated in 1992 to help us further understand this mind-boggling journey.

Oklahoma is perfectly located along the monarch migration highway. Tagging these butterflies as they make their way south helps answer a host of questions about the migration, from the timing and pace, to mortality during the trip. Each butterfly tagged is uniquely coded, with a new set of codes issued each migration season. The tags do not harm the butterfly or disturb its flight in any way. Taggers record the tag code, date, gender of the butterfly, and their geographic location before releasing the butterfly to continue its flight. The data collected is submitted to Monarch Watch, a large-scale national tagging program, and used for research, with the majority of tags recovered in central Mexico.

With the fall migration underway, monarch tagging is a great way for citizen-scientists to help understand the lifecycle of monarchs. Monarch Watch offers tagging kits that include a set of tags, instructions, a datasheet, and additional monarch migration information. Tagging kits are available shop.monarchwatch.org 

October Classes at the Gardens

October Classes at the Gardens

October in the Gardens

Ongoing

Reading Wednesdays

  • Every Wednesday, 10am
  • Children’s Garden Porch or Visitor Center in inclement weather
  • FREE
  • Best for ages 2 to 5

Bring your toddler for storytime every Wednesday. Books are nature-themed and selected based on the season. We’ll begin with an interactive song and some weeks will include a small craft after the story. At this time we are not taking groups.

Guided Walking Tour

Expand your knowledge of Oklahoma plants and find inspiration for your own garden with an educational walking tour. Each month will feature different plants from our outdoor collection that make great choices for this region – from year-round color to drought-tolerant choices and more. Self-guided plant tour handouts are available in our north lobby.

Adult

Foraged Fall Wreaths (sold out)

  • Thursday, October 22, 6-7:30pm
  • The Garden Classroom
  • M $20; NM $25
  • Roberta Rowland, Conservatory Manager
  • SOLD OUT

Create a festive, natural fall wreath using foraged items from the garden grounds. In this hands-on class, we’ll learn basic wreath design and which plant materials preserve well for long-lasting wreaths. Then we’ll dive into creating our wreaths using gathered materials from the garden grounds and a pre-made grapevine wreath as the base.

A Garden for Witch’s Brew: Growing and Preserving Herbs

  • Wednesday, October 28, 6-7pm
  • The Garden Classroom
  • M $8; NM $10
  • Debbie St. John, Canadian County OSU Extension Master Gardener
  • Register by Friday, October 23
  • REGISTER HERE

Get in the spirit of fall with this class focused on garden herbs! Learn how to grow all kinds of herbs outside and inside throughout the year and tricks for preserving them. We’ll get to examine samples of fresh and dried herbs and each take home a tasty sachet of herbs to make our own witch’s brew.