With Students Away, the Creatures Play

Because Elon’s fall break is going on from last Friday, Oct. 11 until tomorrow (October 16), the campus has been a mostly quiet, peaceful place. Insects and animals that do not normally spend time visiting the garden and Loy Farms now venture out to take advantage of the plants and crops that are offered.

A Monarch butterfly was recently spotted by a student in the community garden.

Monarch Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly

Monarch butterflies are one of the most well known butterfly species. One of the reasons for this is due to their incredible migration journey, which is seldom rivaled by even much larger animals. If they live east of the Rocky Mountains, Monarchs will travel all the way to Mexico during the winter. Even more amazing, Monarchs will generally migrate to the same spot and will rest on the same trees as last year despite the fact that they are a new generation of Monarch butterflies. How do they know? It is one of nature’s fantastic tricks. Hopefully this butterfly will complete it’s migration, good luck little guy!

Speaking of mysteries…it seems like there are other creatures visiting the garden as well.

Yummy plants

Yummy plants

Something is eating much of the kale, herbs, lettuce and other plants in the garden. At first the culprit was believed to be rabbits, but after examining the nibbled plants such as these, Professor Strickland thinks the lack of teeth marks and the fact that the tops of leaves are the parts being eaten, are clues that deer are a stronger possibility. Plans are being made to try and record the deer in the act so stay tuned!

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