Monarch migration

Monarch butterflies started migrating through the farm about a month ago, but I saw a few still coming through as late as last week. There are very few wildflowers left for them to use for refueling. The last of the goldenrods and asters are declining and the butterfly bush, hyssop, coneflower, milkweed, bee balm, and joe pye weed that attracted so many pollinators over the summer are long-spent.

I visited my daughter in western Maryland over the weekend and was amazed at all the monarchs stopping to fuel up on her Mexican sunflowers (of course, I didn’t have my camera with me). She has a very large flower cutting garden and they mow around it so it’s like a shining beacon to hungry migrating monarchs on their way to Mexico.

Next year, I will take my camera!

14 thoughts on “Monarch migration

  1. I was again disappointed by the lack of monarchs visiting my raingarden. Lots of bees, no butterflies. Maybe with all the trees, the butterflies just don’t see it. And, Monsanto keeps selling the poison…

    • There are several good websites that list plants that attract butterflies, but another possible reason for the lack of visitors might be that they are attracted to large flower plantings with lots of color, orange, yellow, and purple are good colors for butterflies.

        • Well, we had a very strange Summer up here north of Lake Ontario; with a very cool, very wet Spring that never seemed to end and Summer that didn’t truly arrive until Sept. 1st… But, when it did, everything went insane trying to grow and catch up and Fall weather is just arriving now! So I’m thinking that’s why there’s such a drawn-out migration this year – and perhaps also why there seem to be more Monarchs coming through at once… Perhaps they all waited as well?

  2. Thanks for more suggestions to stretch the butterfly plantings! I’m not sure if it’s because of the multitudes of blossom we had this year; but it seemed to me that the numbers of Monarchs were much better this year than last? Fingers (and toes; ) crossed…

  3. I’d never heard of Mexican Sunflower, so went on (a bit of; ) an info search… Apparently they grow in the cool temps up in the mountains in Mexico, so are not the delicate prima donnas I’d assumed they’d be; ). LOTS of great info here (especially in the comments: )
    Thanks again Jo!

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