An End and a Beginning
Only one month ago, Estela Romero was announcing the monarchs' mass departure from Mexico. Now, the butterflies from Mexico are reaching the end of the road. Increasingly this week, people noted monarchs that were "VERY faded," "ragged," and "translucent."
Signs of Change
By late April, the lives of most monarchs from Mexico will have come to an end. A new generation will continue the journey north. Here's what to watch for:
- The number of sightings should drop very soon, as fewer and fewer monarchs from Mexico remain.
- Sightings of fresh-winged butterflies are expected any time. (The first was reported from Texas on Saturday!)
- The number of sightings will jump by mid-May, as more and more monarchs of the first spring generation appear.
To the surprise and delight of eager students, monarchs recently paid a visit to schools like these:
4/14/11: Greenville, South Carolina
Just as Ms. Williams' class was transplanting milkweed into their garden, "Mother Monarch joined us and actually placed eggs on plants we planted. She stayed with us for the whole project time, laying eggs."
4/14/11 Marietta, Georgia
"We spotted an adult while on a biodiversity scavenger hunt," exclaimed students at Nicholson Elementary.
While students were on the playground and at recess, they spotted monarchs in Mableton, Georgia, La Cygne, Kansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas and Fairfax, Virginia. Way to go! Keep up the great work.
Happy Earth Day, Monarchs
We celebrate nature's power of renewal on Earth Day. For monarchs, the need for renewal is especially clear at this time of year. The number of adult monarch butterflies is at its lowest; at no other time of year are there so few monarchs. Exactly where on Earth is habitat most important for monarchs in the early spring?
A Picture to Prove It!
Egg-loading in Tennessee