Sunday, June 10, 2007

Monarch Life Goes On

I had just remarked to Romie this morning, "It seems like we should be seeing Monarchs by now." And by late afternoon, as if my voice traveled via the wind, I saw the first one fly around the side of the house, back towards the garden.

The Monarchs that made the trip to Mexico last fall began their trek northward the middle of April. When they reached the southern United States, they stopped when they found a food source, mated, laid eggs, and the resulting Monarch offspring is what we see when they arrive here in Ohio in the spring.

We are a certified Monarch Waystation, and last year, we had Monarchs flitting about the yard and gardens every day until they started their migration in the fall. We've seen many different kinds of butterflies here already this spring, but until today, no Monarchs.

We are located directly in the path of their northern migration, and I'm glad they found our garden again, as the plants they love best are lush and green and ready to support their babies. I'll be watching for signs of eggs on the Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa), parsley (Petroselinum crispum), and rue (Ruta graveolens). Last year, that's where we saw caterpillars of many types of butterflies, and the Monarchs, of course, loved the Asclepias the best.

So many signs of summer are here, as they should be, since it's less than two weeks away until the calendar says so and the summer solstice occurs (June 21). It's hard to believe that just two short months ago, we had snow!


Hanna said...

How much fun to watch the Monarchs come back! Did you know in Mexico, some areas believe that Monarchs are the souls of children come back to play?

Alyssa said...

I'm glad to hear that your husband is doing well even though that means pacing about. It's nice that your daughter came to visit and helped in the yard. I know how it is - you start to do just "one" thing outdoors, and suddenly it's three hours later and you've done all kinds of things.

Thank you for the very neat Monarch map. We've not seen any here yet, but I've seen Red Admirals, Yellow Tiger Swallow Tail, and a Painted Lady. Happily, this year seems to have more butterflies in it. I had heard that there was some sort of natural disaster in one of the areas that the Monarchs flocked to and that there would be many fewer this year. Is that correct or did I hear wrong?

A very interesting post.

Anonymous said...

I have never heard of Monarch Waystations so I appreciate the link. I have a lot of the nectar plants and butterfly weed so will look at the site some more to see what I can add.

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