On Friday afternoon my next door neighbor came over and invited Bradley and me to visit her backyard garden. She’d been out watering and discovered the trees were full of Monarch butterflies. Donna knows how much I enjoy the creatures out in the garden and thought I’d like to show the butterflies to Bradley.
He was very serious while watching them flit around and would point to them in the trees.
At one point I was able to get one onto my finger and hold it closer to Bradley. It only stayed 2 or 3 seconds, but it was cool to hold it.
I had noticed several Monarchs flying around that morning when I walked down the alley, but didn’t really think anything of it. There is a lot of milkweed around the area and that’s what they feed on, so it’s not out of the ordinary to see a few around the yard.
Of course I had to Google for facts about Monarch migration after seeing this gorgeous display. Here’s a condensed version regarding their migration from http://www.monarchbutterflyusa.com/Migration.htm:
“Across the USA monarchs soar and glide in the warm sunshine from March through October (depending where they are born), but what happens in the fall when the brisk cold winds set in and winter looms in the air? Monarchs cannot survive cold winter temperatures of the northern states. So what does a monarch do to keep warm? It MIGRATES south and HIBERNATES! This means that it rests, with a very slow heart rate, just like bears in their hibernation caves. Monarchs east of the Rockies migrate 2500 miles to the Oyamel fir trees of Mexico. Monarchs west of the Rockies migrate to southern California to the eucalyptus trees of Pacific Grove and surrounding areas.
The monarch's flight to Mexico has been compared to the migration habits of birds flying south for the winter. It is the only insect that can fly 2,500 miles to a warmer climate. Their unique wing structure and yearly life cycle makes it possible for the fall generation monarchs to travel thousands of miles (on those amazing little wings) to the warm nesting grounds of Mexico and southern California.”
I am always appreciative and amazed when allowed to witness the wonders of Creation such as this. Hopefully that appreciation is being passed down the generations. Many thanks to Donna for thinking of us and letting us join her in this experience!