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The Flight of the Monarch

September 13th, 2010

Earlier this year Mr Chiots and I watched The Incredible Journey of the Butterflies. It’s a documentary about the migration of the monarchs. I’ve read about this incredible natural wonder before and always thought it would be neat to see. We have a few monarchs around here in the summer, I see them occasionally, but yellow swallowtails are our most prolific butterflies.

Last night about 7:30 Mr Chiots and I headed out to take Lucy on a walk and I looked up at the sky and noticed a few butterflies flying over. Then I noticed a few more. We kept watching and noticed they were monarchs and they were clustering high in the trees above Chiot’s Run. I couldn’t get any photos because they were high up in the trees and it was getting dark. It certainly was an amazing site to see them clustering up for warmth and to see so many of them flying over. We may try to get up early to see them leave, although we’re not sure when that may be. These monarch will most likely we overwintering in Florida to return next spring. Here’s some interesting info about monarch migration if you’re interested.

Do you have monarchs in your garden?

10 Comments to “The Flight of the Monarch”
  1. Dale on September 13, 2010 at 7:38 am

    Monarchs will only lay eggs and reproduce of clusters of milkweed plants. Yet the mowing of road ditches has eliminated most such clusters. That is why me made a conscientious effort to get a milkweed cluster started in our butterfly meadow. With the precipitous decline in the monarch population, we wanted to do our small part.

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  2. Quinn on September 13, 2010 at 8:01 am

    I’ve never noticed it until this year, but we’ve been watching them all weekend. It was pretty amazing (and blinding) watching the tiny specks float across the sky.

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  3. Sense of Home on September 13, 2010 at 8:49 am

    We have had several monarchs visit our garden this year, but we have not seen that many at once. About two weeks ago we had dragonflies everywhere, all over town there were swarms of them. They appeared after a rain and then disappeared a few days later. Makes you wonder where they come from and where they are headed.


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  4. deedee on September 13, 2010 at 10:35 am

    our first grader is studying them this month, so we’ve taken more of an interest all of a sudden! all of the kids in his class were supposed to bring in monarch caterpillars to watch them transform.
    we don’t have any in our garden, but as i was out walking the other day i saw the same thing…. a huge swarm of them on a milkweed. of course i didn’t have my camera! they were so beautiful. i completely forgot about my walk and just stood there to watch them for awhile.
    thanks for this blog & the info. i’ll have luke look at it when he gets home from school:)

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  5. amy manning on September 13, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    I have swallowtails and as yet unidentified butterflies. Oh, and cabbage moths. Beautiful but absolutely infuriating.

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  6. kristin @ going country on September 13, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    The MiL knows an insect guy (entomologist, I think they’re called? maybe?) at the university where she works, and he said there’s been some serious decimation in the Monarchs that winter over in Mexico, due to various natural disasters there. I haven’t read up on it, myself, but that’s what this post made me think of.

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  7. gail dugas on September 15, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    up here on our farm in ontario, canada….. we have had a spectacular summer hosting hundreds and hundreds of monarchs….. there were chrysalids all over the place… i brought one in by mistake on a basil stalk and then watched over a few days while the butterfly emerged.. this happened a number of times… the chrysalids were hidden behind wood, on deck chairs and on plants.. it was an honour to learn about them.. there are still a couple of late bloomers here…. i hope some of our butterflies from here brought good wishes down your way.

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  8. Reply to Garden Sprouts – October 2, 2010 | Gardening on the Moon ( GOTM )'s comment

  9. Jeff on October 1, 2010 at 9:54 am

    I wanted to drop you a note to let you know that I have included a short post referencing this post on my website, Gardening on the Moon.

    When I served as an educator, we would include butterflies in the elementary school curriculum. They are so interesting and the students loved it!

    You can see the referenced post on the home page:

    And at the Permalink:

    I follow your blog on a regular basis and enjoy reading your posts.

    [ Jeff ] –

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  10. Karla on August 4, 2011 at 10:23 am

    I live on a monarch migratory route, and am developing a perennial bed to help the monarchs along their way. Zinnias were a big hit with them last year, and they’re starting to hang out around my milkweed, which I planted last spring and is blooming for the first time this year.
    I very much recommend seeing the butterflies overwintering in Mexico. You can get there after flying to Mexico City or Morelia, and the accommodations in Angangueo, Michoacán (nearest to the sanctuary El Rosario) are rustic but safe.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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