Watching for Monarchs!

Monarch butterfly photographed at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

Monarch butterflies are on the mind of millions of Americans these days. Especially those of us east of the Rocky Mountain divide. Were the experts correct, had the monarchs wintering in Mexico nose dived to not 500,000,000, but way down to 33,000,000. Was the winter in those Mexican mountains, in the states of Michoacan and Mexico, free of lethal snow and ice storms? Were the monarchs able to bulk up on nectar in the wildflower fields abutting their roosts? And the follow-up Big question, Are they now in Texas and Louisiana

I have nearly completed Four Wings And A Prayer by Sue Halpern (Vintage Books, 2001) and it was a really good read. I know so much more about Danaus plexippus than I did before. I did not know much about Monarch Watch or Journey North, both serious websites, working to monitor, track and understand the Monarch phenomenon.

If Texas and Louisiana serve up good weather, lots of Asclepias nectar and much luck, Monarchs descended from this female you see here will mate, produce viable eggs, caterpillars and chrysalis and that new generation will head north to . . . US! Yippee!

Who amongst us, here on wingedbeauty, is not anxious to see that first monarch, flying in as beautifully as they do, to our town, garden, city, park, acreage? With our lives so complicated nowadays, who won’t bust-out with Joy! when that happy moment arrives in May, June or July? I mean the list is endless: Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Arkansas, Illinois, Florida, Georgia, West Virginia, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Kansas, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island,  Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New Jersey, all most of Canada. Have I missed any?

Jeff