Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Summer Monarchs

We've had a Monarch or two around the backyard flowers most of the past two months. When I sit in front of the window and do my weight-lifting I can pretty well count on seeing one.  And we've had multiple reports of people seeing lots of Monarchs this summer.  At the moment they are migrating in their hundreds along the shores of Wasaga Beach to the east of us.

Starting with this bright orange visitor that almost landed on my shoulder back in the spring, I've seen a remarkable number myself.

On the ground.

Repeatedly on Milkweed plants,

This is the single lonely Milkweed in our own yard, 3 feet outside the window.

And I watched while it curved its abdomen and laid an egg on the underside of the leaf.

Then it stopped on the Petunias.

And later on one of the Hosta flowers.

Mrs. F.G. went outside excitedly after we saw the butterfly apparently lay an egg and a few days later saw this tiny caterpillar.

Then it got rapidly bigger, but sadly she went out to check one day and it was all tied down under the web of a garden attack spider.  I'll spare you the picture (which Mrs. F.G. was too upset to take anyway).

Never-the-less, we still had Monarchs, this time on a Dahlia.  Again these are Mrs.F.G's pictures.


Pretty good for an iPhone camera, don't you think?

It's been back every day, in recent weeks feasting on the Butterfly Bush, and occasionally stopping at the Milkweed for a visit.

The closest we've come to seeing one hatch this year is this 'almost-ready-to-hatch' chrysallis that was found on some weeds that were already on the compost heap at our favourite veggie gardeners.

So I think it's been a good year for Monarchs here and I hope that bodes well for the future.




19 comments:

  1. Great pictures, the cell phone does a nice job. So do the operators of course. What colorful additions to the garden. Gord.

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  2. Sorry to hear about the spider incident. I don't ever recall seeing a Monarch around here but we do have Mourning Cloaks and Swallowtails quite frequently. - Margy

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  3. Beautiful! I've seen a few here this summer.

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  4. I've never seen as many as I have seen the past month!

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  5. Your pictures are fantastic. I've seen a bunch of them around here too.
    I'm hoping to plant some milk weed at Happy trials.

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  6. Really wonderful pictures. So sorry that one almost made it. I can understand why Mrs. FG was so upset. :-(

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  7. Don't you love those little gold beads on the shell?

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  8. What an awesome post. That's like a whole unit of lectures on the Monarch.

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  9. You got some good shots there!

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  10. I've noticed a definite increase in Monarch butterflies this summer as well especially compared to the last couple of years. I always feel so sad when one flies in front of the car and gets hit. I think Mrs FG did well with the iPhone camera.

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  11. those wing colours, they seem to pick up on the greens around them.Sad that one didn't manage to survive, super pics Mrs F.G.

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  12. Wonderful to see so many Monarchs. We've had a good year for Painted Ladies, which migrate this far north in only the warmest summers.

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  13. Hello, beautiful photos. I have only seen a few Monarchs this season. Wishing you a happy day!

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  14. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    bootiful flutterbys

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  15. Lovely Monarch shots. I try but they are so fast or I'm too slow. The chrysalis I have is intriguing. Isn't it the wrong time of year? I love it's colouring and loved seeing it as a wee caterpillar with eyes. :)

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  16. Lucky you. We had so few this year and I have not seen any chrysiallus!

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  17. Lovely photos . I am a member of Monarchs Migrating Through Ontario , lots of these members raise tag and release Monarchs and the co founder of this group has been doing this and tracking Monarchs on their migration from Ontario to Mexico for 25 years , He was just at Hawk cliff off of the north shores of lake Erie close to us as we and this place are both on the migration path for both butterfly's and birds and he was monitoring the monarchs and reporting on the numbers and how well they are moving through , this group also is linked up to Point Pelee national park and waysation where the Monarchs stop off at before they cross lake Erie , they also have a Facebook group and its linked to Mexico where they also report the tagging from Ontario . The numbers this year are good . Thanks for sharing .

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  18. such an awesome look into your butterfly experience. i have not seen many monarchs and have read that they are on the decline in this area. next year i would like to plant some milkweed in order to attract them!!

    i bring my caterpillars indoors because i have seen the birds eat them. i have read it is very difficult for them to survive outdoors!!

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  19. We live in the migration route for the Monarchs. I hope to have food for feasting next spring and fall for them as they make the journey.

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