Monarchs!

They’ve arrived!

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Male Monarch nectaring on a Frostweed (Verbesina virginica), with fellow pollinator on the next bloom cluster below

They’re bulking up on autumn-blooming rich nectar sources for the remainder of their migration and the long winter ahead!

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Sometimes, they rest.

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Resting on a Drummond’s ruellia (Ruellia drummondiana) leaf

Always, they’re beautiful!

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Nectaring on Gregg’s mistflower (Conoclinium greggii)

Monarch butterfliesDanaus plexippus  are in the process of one of the longest insect migrations in the world.  Click on this link for information about the Monarch and a “Journey North” map which shows the spring migration northward from Mexico. Currently, the southbound migration from Canada to Mexico is underway.  The major routes of the Monarch converge in Texas and it’s imperative that they have plenty of nectar sources to feed on for migration and preparation for overwintering in Mexico.   Much has been made of the importance of milkweed for Monarch survival because it’s the host plant for this insect. Monarchs having adequate milkweed to lay their eggs on and to nourish the larvae in spring and summer is vital for their survival, but for the fall migration back to Mexico, nectar plants (of all kinds, but native flowers are the best) are required  to sustain the health of the adults who will over-winter in Mexico.

 

Monarchs are in my back garden,

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Nectaring on Ruby red runner, a pond plant

…and front garden too!

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Resting on a Martha Gonzales Rose

Travel well, remarkable ones, and have a safe winter in Mexico.  Come back soon–maybe next March??

 

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18 thoughts on “Monarchs!

  1. I thought I saw a Monarch flying through the marina on Wednesday. I very well might have. And just yesterday, I found shrubby boneset, frostweed, mistflower, native Turk’s cap, prairie agalinis, snow-on-the-mountain, and partridge pea just thick out at Armand Bayou. Any butterflies that stop by will find treats galore — just as they have in your garden! It must be so satisfying to help them out as you do.

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  2. Tina es una maravilla que la mariposa Monarca pase y repose en su jardín, se alimente de sus plantas. Es una verdadera amante de los animales teniendo plantadas plantas melíferas para las mariposas Monarcas que están cansadas por su gran viaje y para el resto de insectos polinizadores. Gracias Tina. Saludos de Margarita.

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  3. Yes, they’re always beautiful! It’s wonderful to hear your reports about them arriving in Texas, since many of them traveled from the Midwest. I raised 11 from the egg stage this year, and I hope at least some of them will make the trip to Mexico. One left to eclose from its chrysalis and I expect to release it later this week. Anyway, it’s great to hear good news about large numbers making it south! 🙂

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