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Releasing monarchs

Whenever we release monarchs from their "nursery" mesh cages, it's such a joyful event.

Sometimes they immediately fly out of their cage, high into the air and over the roof.

This especially happens if they eclosed the previous day, but it was too late to release them that same day. By the time it's warm enough to release them in 24 hours, they are eager to go.

And some of the butterflies are very tentative at first, carefully walking up the mesh walls of their cage toward the opening.

Where they fly to at first, you can never predict.

In the photo above, a female headed straight for the top of the blackberry bush hedge. She is warming her wings and body on a cluster of dried blackberry blossoms.

This monarch flew to a sword head fern branch.

And sometimes an arm looks like a good place to start before heading off on adventures.

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