Monday, November 14, 2016

The Flight of the Monarchs

Photo by
Excellent information on Monarchs on their site:

It was brought to my attention that I 

mistakenly identified the butterflies in this post.  

The butterflies I've photographed here are Queens, not Monarchs.  

In my rush and excitement I didn't properly examine the photos. 

You can see in the photo below, with the butterfly wings open, 

that the black veining of a Monarch is not present. 

When the wings are closed, both the Queen 

and the Monarch share this black veining characteristic.

Queens, closely related to Monarchs, 

are often mistaken for Monarchs.

I apologize, I should have noticed because I wrote a 

previous post on Queen butterflies here.  

That said, the information about Monarchs is correct. 

It's late in the migration season,

but Monarchs are here in Austin to refuel as they

 make the long journey to their winter home in Mexico.

Thursday, after my monthly CAMEO meeting,

I noticed my friend's garden was all a flutter.

Dozens of Monarch butterflies

were fluttering from plant to plant to feast

on the nectar of tropical milkweed and other plants.

These beautiful creatures are 

nothing short of little miracles and are the 

only butterfly known to make a two way journey of migration.  

The Monarch's 3,000 mile migration from Canada to 

Mexico and back again has long puzzled scientists.

Dwindling populations in recent years have caused alarm.

The governments of the US, Canada, and Mexico have  

joined in an effort to help save the Monarch butterfly.

Milkweed is the most important factor

in saving the Monarchs, as it is the only food

the Monarch caterpillar can eat, and 

it is the chemicals in milkweed that protect the Monarch.

Austin, recognized as the most wildlife-friendly

city in America, has resolved to incorporate

more native milkweed into the city's landscape.

 Former First Lady Laura Bush 

founded Texan By Nature in 2011.

A community run conservation effort to preserve Texas'

environment,  Texan By Nature has begun a state wide  

initiative to help preserve the Monarch.

Click here to become a Monarch Wrangler and learn

how you can make a difference for the Monarch butterfly.