Friday, October 30, 2009

Mexico Welcomes the Monarchs

We've long passed the peak migration period for the Monarch butterflies in our area (mid-September), even though we saw one in the garden earlier this week. The straggler had better get on his way before daytime temperatures become too cold. Monarchs can't fly in temperatures below 50° F, which is why they flock in trees overnight until it's warm enough to continue on their long journey to Mexico.

Just about now, the first Monarchs are arriving at their winter roosts in central Mexico, completing one of the most amazing migration trips in the insect world.

In case you've never heard the story of the Monarch's life cycle and how they deal with northern winters, Nova has done a wonderful piece for PBS called
The Incredible Journey of the Butterflies. It's shown periodically, but you can watch the 50-minute program online at your own convenience.

I urge you to take the time to see it:

(Click on the graphic)


Gail said...

Amazing story~~such delicate creatures flying all that distance. gail

Diana from Sweet Fields of Green said...

I adore Monarchs and all butterflies. I love them so much that I put in a butterfly garden just for them to hang out (pun intended!) and feed in. Thanks for posting a link to the PBS program!

Corner Gardener Sue said...

I have seen that show, but its been awhile. I just got approved to be a monarch waystation. I am planning on planting a few more milkweed plants, because I think I lost one of them this summer, unless it just went dormant early.

MrBrownThumb said...


I usually don't get many Monarchs in my garden but this year I don't recall seeing a single one. I had plenty of Red Admirals, but not a single Monarch. The only one I spotted this year was one I photographed in downtown Chicago.

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

What an amazing journey. I watched the PBS show earlier this year....very impressive.

Pat said...

Seeing the massive amounts of monarchs clinging to the trees is awesome. Shame about the Illegal logging. Good link to keep. Thanks.

Chiot's Run said...

Thanks for this, we'll be putting in on our netflix cue. We're watching the National Parks series now.

My parents have tons of monarchs in their flowerbeds. 15 years ago they started adding lots of milkweed and other monarch friendly plants. They actually have them breeding there now.

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