Every year I count monarchs until I see no more as they migrate to Mexico. Someday I will go visit them in Mexico.I came across this interesting article on line through Mother Earth News a site you should visit if you think 60's or are inclined to be earthy. You know the type. We recycle, compost and count butterflies for fun. One year I counted 120 coming down Peoria Ave and around my house. I counted about 12 before the hurricane rain and now I am only up to 16. I don't know enough to know if these things are related but I am still counting. It is not a very scientific study on my part but it is fun and I let my family count with me as well as close friends who care. So, here is some real data on my lovely flying friends from Mother Earth News. Visit their site and if you have any cash, send them some.
Monarchs Are On the Move
Migrating populations of monarch butterflies are predicted to be on the low side this year, but that doesn't mean you won't notice them. If you look up in the sky late in the afternoon during the next few weeks, chances are good that you will see determined monarch butterflies flitting toward Mexico.
Butterfly watchers in the upper Midwest are already seeing roosts in which dozens of monarchs gather in a single bush or tree for the night. Here in southwest Virginia, a continuous stream of monarchs are stopping to sip nectar from the native asters and zinnias I planted just for them.
Want to track this year's migration and report sightings? The animated migration map, based on the citizen reporting system hosted by JourneyNorth.org, provides great graphics. Or, you can participate in the forum for sightings sponsored by MonarchWatch.org.
Sometimes it may look like monarchs are flying in the wrong direction, but don't worry. Recent scientific papers by neurobiologist Steven R. Reppert have identified a sophisticated inner clock mechanism that enables monarchs to constantly reorient themselves, insuring that they stay on a sound migratory course.
Photo by Barbara Pleasant