The Baron (my first GSD)
and I were driving along a track on our way to one of my favorite
hiking/birding trails. To the right was a prairie, to the left a long line of shrubs and scrub trees. The flutter of monarch butterflies coming off the
shrubs quickly became evident. The flutter soon began to look like a blizzard of orange & black for the next quarter of a mile.
I fumbled to get my little cheapo camera out of my pocket. I like the camera because it does
fit in my pocket, while the binocs dangle from my neck. The following pics thru the windshield don't come close to doing justice to what I actually saw....but you get the idea.
Like many of
our migrating birds, the monarchs gather in the fall for an epic journey south. My friend, Mr Science (Gary) gives the following succinct explantion.
PRODUCE FOUR GENERATIONS EACH YEAR. THREE OF THESE GENERATIONS ONLY LIVE ABOUT
ONE MONTH EACH, BUT ONE GENERATION(THE 4TH GENERATION) LIVES FOR ABOUT 8 MONTHS
AND THAT IS THE GENERATION THAT EACH FALL MAKES A 1400+ MILE MIGRATION TO
His blog "Nature Notes" on the flora and fauna of Fillmore County, Minnesota can be found at http://fillmorenature.blogspot.com/
I was, perhaps, a little early that year in checking some favorite monarch roosts but the sad fact is their numbers were way down over the long term average. That years drought, especially in the Upper Midwest had a bad effect. These beautiful creatures depend on milkweed. The long term prospects are even bleaker. Loss of habitat is hurting butterflies in the same way as it has our songbirds. Development and agricultural monoculture are very detrimental….
Here's a photo Gary took a few day ago in the same area we had been hiking....