About the Texas Butterfly Ranch

The Texas Butterfly Ranch results from a lifelong interest in the outdoors, and a more recent fascination with butterflies and their life cycle.

Monika Maeckle, Texas Butterfly Ranch  photo: Nicolas Rivard

Monika Maeckle, Texas Butterfly Ranch

Exploring the creek as a kid ranked as my favorite after-school pastime.  Digging in the dirt came naturally. And I relished helping my parents tend their radish and tomato garden, an endeavor that sustains me to this day.

Becoming a Master Gardener, managing a weekend ranch for wildlife, and discovering that our stretch of the Llano River lay in the path of the magnificent Monarch migration amplified my butterfly passion.  When I realized the pecan trees on our riverbanks of the Llano served as roost to thousands of Monarch butterflies each Fall, I was hooked.

What struck me most was that they had always been there, I just hadn’t noticed. Now, I do. I encourage readers to do the same.

Soon I was raising caterpillars in my yard and kitchen and researching host plants to add to my garden and the ranch.

People often ask:  So, where is the Texas Butterfly Ranch?

I like to say it’s a state of mind.  In my case, the geographic collective of Austin, San Antonio and the Hill Country.

On these pages we hope to educate, inspire and explore the life cycle we all share by focusing on butterflies in all their stages–from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly.  We’ll also look at host plants, because without them, the life cycle wouldn’t be possible. I wish for each reader that you witness the daily miracle of metamorphosis and the eclosure of a butterfly.  You will be irrevocably touched.

Thanks for stopping by.   See you outside.


4 Responses to About the Texas Butterfly Ranch

  1. Lisa Reid says:

    HI! I need to get in touch with someone ASAP to see if there are still any Monarchs in San Antonio. I am doing a project for the University of Georgia and need to do some harmless testing – they’re looking for information on Monarchs infected with OE. Please contact me if you know where I can locate some Monarchs to sample (they will be released unharmed as soon as I am done). Thank you!

    • Monika Maeckle says:

      Lisa, I will likely be there tomorrow and let you know what I find. Thanks for stopping by.


      • Lisa Reid says:

        Please call me on my cell at 830-708-2596 when you find out – I’ll be out until after 12:00 pm today and can head that direction if you find some. Thanks!

  2. Lisa Reid says:

    Monika – I found the Milkweed patch today near the Pearl Brewery . . . Was able to catch 6 Monarchs to sample them for the OE parasite and then release them again where I found them. I also noted 5 big fat caterpillars munching away on the Milkweed 🙂 SOOO glad I came across the article about this place! Thanks!

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