Monday, August 2, 2021

Monarchs!

Monarchs!  We have had several bright Monarch butterflies fluttering around the garden and feeding on a number of flowers.   The coneflowers closest to the Milkweeds seem popular.  We suspect that these are 'our' Monarchs, though we haven't seen any actually undergo the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly.  We certainly saw enough caterpillars after leaving a few Milkweed to grow in front of the window.

Mrs. F.G. is the photographer and I don't think we've ever had better close-ups of Monarchs.


The bright colours and lack of tattered edges convince us that this is a newly hatched Monarch.  The migration to their over-wintering sites in Mexico is simply amazing, one of the very longest of insect migrations.  And it takes four generations for them to return.  The Monarchs that migrate south are not the same ones that migrated north, so they have never done this trip before, and yet they know where to go, to a tiny area in Mexico where most Monarchs ovcrwinter.

This generation will survive the winter in Mexico and then begin north in the spring - but they won't get very far.  It will typically take four generations, each migrating a little further, before they are back in southern Ontario.  How amazing is that!?  How do they find their way?

The story of the Monarch eclipses our excellent potato harvest, so you'll have to wait another week before I tell you about that.











21 comments:

  1. Wow those are fabulous photos!!!

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  2. The migration of Monarchs is a humbling thing. Wonderful photos.

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  3. I'm so happy to see a good population around here again. My milkweeds still have larvae munching away. I have only seen spent pupae so they are holing up somewhere, probably lots under the porch.

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  4. I always enjoy your photos of the trilliums. We don't have them here. Your post is full of joy, I hope the warm weather continues for you over the coming weeks.

    Regards,
    Online Thesis Help

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  5. We noticed a female laying her eggs on our milkweed the other day, so we will look forward to watching the caterpillars move from one instar to the next. We'll bring a couple in to raise them under our watchful eyes and to use as an educational tool for the children next door.

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  6. Two years ago, someone released Monarchs for the community to witness. It was quite wonderful. I think I did 4 posts. Here are the first two.

    https://anvilcloud.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-release-of-monarchs.html
    https://anvilcloud.blogspot.com/2019/08/monarchs-emerging-from-chrysalis.html

    If I ever get another chance I would love to do a real time lapse of the chrysalis.

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  7. The monarch journey North is amazing really. Genetic GPS. Great photos!

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  8. Great shots! I've been seeing a lot of them too.
    I'm still around despite blogger problems with links to my blog on other people's blogs.
    http://occasionaltoronto.blogspot.com/

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  9. The monarchs are beautiful! I used to see them occasionally, when I was a child, in my mother's garden but I don't recall seeing them in the city. I probably don't have the right plants in mine or in the neighbours.

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  10. Excellent photographs. I'm always amazed that butterflies cross the English Channel, though that pales into insignificance compared to the vast distances covered by the Monarchs.

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  11. Beautiful capture of the monarchs. We have had a couple sighted this year but we don't have many. I did see a gold finch today on my zinnias. I hope I could get a photo of a monarch. Your wife did a great job.

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  12. Great Pictures!! Monarchs are indeed incredible little beauties.

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  13. Those are amazing insects -- just fascinating.

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  14. Great pictures and amazing 'critters'. :D They put the human race to shame!!

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  15. you are right mr. fg, they are probably "your" monarchs looking all perfect and beautiful!! they do love their milkweed and coneflowers!! the mrs. did a fabulous job with her pictures!!

    their evolution and journey is nothing short of a miracle!!

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  16. I have planted the butterfly weed and only seen one. But that is better than none.

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