Saturday, July 25, 2009

Blue Skies and Butterflies

Two monarchs were darting and dancing around the milkweeds today, which I took as an invitation to come out and play. (I believe this is the aerial half of their mating dance.)

This is as close as I got to capturing them on camera, but the chase through the field was good fun. You'll have to click the picture to enlarge it to see them, I'm afraid.

I left all the milkweeds around the property for the monarchs, but these are the first ones I've seen. I'll keep an eye out for eggs and caterpillars.

As you probably know, monarchs head north from Mexico in spring and spread all the way up to Canada by summer, then migrate back to Mexico in the fall.

What you may not realize is that the migration north consists of several generations of individuals that live only a few weeks. The final generation is a "Methuselah generation" that will survive for months -- and will fly all the way back to Mexico, though they have never been there.

Miraculous, is it not?


Rambling Woods said...

It is a miraculous and I want some milkweed, but I need to start the seeds earlier..I like that the photos were in the context and some just a beauty shot....

Nicole said...

So that's milkweed?
I saw a whole field of it over here today. I guess it's an "invader" into our native environment.
But they sure are beautiful :)

Lovely nture shots!

MyMaracas said...

Michelle, I'll be happy to send you some pods this fall if you want. Once esablished, it reseeds like crazy..

Nicole, good news - it's native. Well, to this part of the country, anyway.

Jane ... said...

I enjoyed reading your posts--what gorgeous photos too! We've been watching the monarchs here, also, and will hate to see them leave for the Southwest. YES, it is miraculous!