Monarch Murals by Ink Dwell Studio

I’m seeing numerous Monarch (Danaus plexippus) butterflies here in central Florida, and not just in my garden.

Downtown Orlando has six huge Monarchs flying right across from City Hall and the Dr. Phillips Center on a mural called “Midnight Dream” painted by Ink Dwell. This 3,500 square foot mural on the corner of Orange and Anderson, depicts Monarchs flitting about a patch of Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa), a tribute to the magical qualities of this famous insect.

Delightful view of Monarch butterflies in downtown Orlando, Florida, USA.
Vibrant Monarch butterfly mural at Full Sail University, Orlando, Florida, USA.

Three large Monarch butterflies also flutter at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida, located along University Avenue in Winter Park, Florida. This mural, titled “Milkweed Galaxy”, features Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnta). Tropical or Scarlet Milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) plants are growing in front of the mural, attracting live Monarch butterflies.

Tropical Milkweed grows in several flower beds in front of the mural at Full Sail.

The murals are part of the Nature Conservancy’s new Monarch Initiative in Central Florida to restore the habitats of the Monarch butterfly. The Monarch Initiative seeks to educate the central Florida community on the importance of pollinators, such as the Monarch butterfly, through outreach and collaboration.

Can you see the Monarch? He was flying all around the milkweed in front of the mural.
Long view of the Monarch mural at Full Sail University.

Monarch butterflies have suffered a severe decline in population – decreasing from one billion in 1996 to 140 million 
in 2016. According to a U.S. Geological Survey study, as many as 1.8 billion additional Milkweed (Asclepias spp.) plants may be needed in North America to return imperiled Monarch butterflies to sustainable population size. Adding Milkweeds and other native flowering plants into our gardens can help restore Monarch butterflies. Click Here to see my top favorite native Milkweeds.

An eight-story air-traffic control tower in Springdale, Arkansas, USA, provides the basis of this vertical butterfly mural by Ink Dwell.

Founded in 2012 by artist Jane Kim and journalist Thayer Walker, Ink Dwell Studio makes art that inspires people to love and protect the natural world. In addition to the two Monarch murals in Florida, they have also created a mural in Springdale, Arkansas, mounted on an eight-story air traffic control tower at the Springdale Airport.

“Monarch in Moda” in Ogden, Utah.
Spread the message and wear this “Plant Milkweed” t-shirt created by Butterfly Lady.

Butterfly Joy

The past two months I have been making, selling , and shipping Painted Lady Butterfly Caterpillar Rearing Kits. Sometimes I hear back from customers who have purchased the butterfly kits. That’s part of the fun!

Wendy H. sent some pictures of her girls.

These girls are so excited to get a box in the mail!
The six little caterpillars inside the cups bring smiles to their faces!

Katrina W. texted me some photos of her and her children releasing their butterflies.

“We had our butterfly launch today. it was really OPTIMUM conditions: 70 degrees (F) and gentle to no winds. it was such a postcard perfect day!” she wrote.
“We drove to the park.”
“This guy was enjoying the warm weather and sunshine!”
“They warmed up nicely in the car so they had a lot of energy to fly and get some lunch!”

Katrina wrote, “Thank you again for sending these precious babies to us. We enjoyed every minute, and will miss them! The rest of the time we were at the park, we would occasionally see them fly by! It was like they were saying ‘look at me!! I’m FLYING!'”

I love making Painted Lady Butterfly Caterpillar Rearing Kits because I know they will bring joy to children of all ages as they observe the caterpillars grow and transform into butterflies.

Learn about the life cycle of a Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) with this t-shirt. Click Here or on the photo to order.