We're up to 50 monarchs nectaring at our large planting of Meadow Blazing Star in our suburban prairie garden. It started with 3 butterflies 8/21 and has been increasing each day to 8/28 total of 50. During the evening the butterflies roost scattered widely throughout our trees and nearby trees, not in a traditional cluster. Observed a few pairs mating, so not all of these butterflies are preparing to migrate.
50 was my highest one-day nectaring count (50 butterflies here all at one time - it gets hard to count!). They've been slowing building each day since 8/21. eg on 8/27 I counted 42 nectaring at once, on 8/26 33 nectaring at once, etc. We had a bumber crop of meadow blazing star this year as well, so we're luring them in. I'm surprised and glad since we saw only a couple of adults and had fewer caterpillars than past years on the milkweed this summer.
Our front yard prairie garden is roughly 280 square feet and we put it in 3 years ago (using mostly adult bare-root plants - no seeding). This year we have a whopping 60 flower stems of the blazing star. We also have about 60 square feet prairie/rain garden in the back yard with another 12 blazing star stems. And another 500 square feet of woodland gardens split between front and back.
Observed by: Michelle
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