Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Magical Monarchs

     The magic of fall has arrived in the Red Hills--a fabulous Monarch butterfly migration. The late summer final generational hatch of Monarchs are the ones which make as long as a 3,000 mile journey to overwintering sites in Oyamel fir forests in a very small area of mountain tops in central Mexico.  Come next spring, they will start returning northward.  They produce several generations on their way north with each new hatch going through metamorphosis from egg to larvae to adult and continuing to summer destinations throughout the mid-west and into Canada.  Populations are on an alarming downward trend with affects from GMO crops, pesticides and destruction of some of their over-wintering grounds in Mexico.  How sad would it be to someday realize there might no longer be such a fascinating and beautiful butterfly migration?   
A male Monarch rests with a friend on a catalpa leaf.  (The slightly enlarged spots on the interior rear veins on the hind wings say this is a male.)  They have a long journey in front of them.

Lisa and people throughout the southern plains get to enjoy the fascinating and beautiful fall Monarch migrations.
Hundreds and perhaps thousands of Monarchs spent a night at this roost site in a grove of catalpas in the Red Hills recently.

This map from Monarch Watch shows how far Monarchs migrate.  Discover a lot more fascinating information about Monarchs by googling Monarch Watch.  

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