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Monarch Fairy Art

fairy painting of monarch butterfly fairy Rachel M Brown

Monarch Fairy amongst the Roses

Watercolor on Hot Press Arches

The colorful black and orange design on a Monarch Butterfly's wings warn its predators that they will get an upset stomach if they eat the butterfly. Viceroy Butterflies imitate the Monarch’s coloration without having to make themselves poisonous. Likewise, the Monarch Fairies in our garden grow bright orange and black wings with similar markings to the Monarch Butterfly.

Of course, Monarch Butterflies make themselves poisonous by eating milkweed leaves when they are mere caterpillars. Fairies can’t bear the taste of milkweed themselves, and are careful not to get any of the sap onto their skin.

Although milkweed isn't a direct source of food for the fairies themselves, they realize milkweed’s importance to the butterflies and other insects (especially to bees who also drink nectar from milkweed flowers). That is why, when the milkweed seed pods mature and begin to turn brown, you will sometimes see a brave fairy breaking open the pod, making it easier for the breeze to catch the milkweed floss and spread the seeds.

So, in our garden, there is plenty of milkweed growing along with the asters, thistles and lilacs that both fairies and Monarch Butterflies enjoy.

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