Local publishes guide to raising monarch butterflies
The family-friendly story combines “a magical story of a caterpillar named Little Stripe growing into a butterfly with easy, step-by-step instructions on how to identify, cultivate and raise a monarch,” according to the Austin Macauley Publishers.
Kaatz splits her time between her home on the meadow in Sioux Falls, SD and the lake cabin near Park Rapids.
“I love gardening and wherever I go I find gardens,” she said, acknowledging her passion for growing up in Ortonville’s rural Minn. As a child, he grew up caterpillars.
At her home in Sioux Falls, her neighbors would stop admiring her garden “because I would be out all the time.” They observed the monarch caterpillars in a glass jar.
“They would say, ‘What is this?’ “And I started talking to them about it,” he recalls.
Kaats will give quick, easy advice to those who wanted to raise their monarchs, “but they will forget one step and they did not do very well, so I started writing steps. I thought, ‘There must be some kind of book or pamphlet in it.’ and it did not exist. “
Kaats decided to combine a fictional story with a guide to caring for monarchs – from the egg to the butterfly.
“It really is a book for the whole family, because it has steps in what people have not heard before,” Kaatz said. For example, the first generation lives only a few weeks, but the last generation migrates to Mexico.
Describing her book as a “toolbox,” Kaats said, “It caters to every age group, and they both tell a story and educate about the peculiarities of planting gardens, dairy milk and the miracle of monarchs.”
She breeds several generations of monarchs every summer, starting in May when she collects eggs or a caterpillar from her dairy garden. “It’s a hobby that lasts all summer,” Kaats said. “It ‘s a very cheap hobby.”
All you need is a jar and a net.
When Kaatz returns to Minnesota, she brings with her jars of emerging monarchs. “Someone will be on a chrysalis, someone still needs milk,” she said, adding, “My husband is very patient about that.” There are often four crease jars, which ring during the six-hour drive.
Kaats worked on the book for several summers. It was released in January 2021. He said that “he perfected my approaches, read the research, talked to experts and created the book. It is a happy product of all this, combined with the wonderful story of the book star, a butterfly called Little Stripe. “
He hopes state and national parks, schools, Scouts, 4-H clubs and more will use the book.
Experts are promoting start-up gardens and creating sidewalks to support butterflies, Kaatz said. “Raising some monarchs from their natural environment is considered valuable to teach people to love nature and connect them to the natural world,” he said. “In the book, we talk about the idea of saving the world with childish steps and you can start from your backyard. I like.”
“Raising Little Stripe” is available at www.austinmacauley.com. Ben Franklin in Park Rapids also brings the book. For large quantities and mass discounts, Kaatz recommends contacting the publisher directly at 646-512-5767 or [email protected]