Monarch invasion!

woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)September 23, 2010

If you have a butterfly garden, I hope you have asters and heptacodium....

The Monarch invasion is in full swing here today! We're on the migration route for the Monarchs; they gather around here before heading south across the lake. When they head out you can sometimes see rivers of them crossing the sky! They were going nuts today feeding on the asters and heptacodium in the front garden:

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snowgardener(z4 NY)

Oh, how beautiful! I love monarchs. They've pretty much left our area though and I haven't seen any for a few days.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 7:30PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Now that must be a lot of fun to be on a migration route for Monarchs. We've barely seen one or two all season. I bet they were happy to see your garden!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 7:34PM
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I only saw a handful here during the month of August. Mostly engaged in battle, I was surprised as I had never seen this before.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 7:44PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Ooooohhhh lucky you, we don't get Monarchs here. I didn't even see a single Swallow Tail this year, in fact no butterflies at all except for a few cabbage moths. I think the hoards of paper wasps we had around here did most of the caterpillars in.


    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 8:18PM
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lily51(OH 5)

What a sight! There have been a few times we have observed large groupings of monarchs at migration time, but not regularly. In fact, this summer seemed to be full of many different kinds of butterflies, but not too many monarchs.
How lucky you are to enjoy this event each year.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 1:44AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

We do get a lot of Monarchs in September each year, but this year the numbers seem higher than usual! There wasn't a Monarch in sight when we went out around 8:00 to walk the dog this morning. By the time we got back, the sun was out, the temperature rising and the Monarchs were waking up. I think they slept in the cedar tree behind the heptacodium. By 9:00 they were out in force again. Hopefully we can get some pictures when they actually start the migration this year. We never seem to have the camera handy when it happens!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 9:35AM
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lily51(OH 5)

To monarch lovers...
An intersting site is Journey North. You can track the migration of monarchs, plus other animals.
You can even become part of the observation teams.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 12:02PM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

I really love the shots on the asters!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 12:02PM
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midnightsmum (Z4, ON)

Woodyoak - absolutely stunning. I saw a few Monarchs this Fall, but nothing like your display. I think I might need a couple of those heptacodiums!!

tfs. Nancy.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 1:22PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

Oh Woody! That is fabulous!! We used to be on their migration path but we have not seen them for a number of years. It still makes me sad, so it was so nice to see your beautiful photos!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 6:49PM
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I love that,was watching some show the other day,think it was one of those mystery ones where they were looking for a body in the fields,and in the background all you could see was butterflies flitting around.

We get the painted ladies migrating thru here.Beautiful sights to watch.Isn't nature Wonderful??

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 6:09PM
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What a sight! I have had very few Monarchs this year. You are so lucky to be in the flight path.

I hope you can get some more pictures to show us.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 5:48AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

The Monarch still haven't left - actually, I'm not sure if some of them have left but been replaced with new ones or whether they are all still waiting for the right wind direction to carry them over the lake. In any case, there were still swarms of them out there today! They really seem to love the heptacodium and I think they've been roosting in the cedar behind it at night since they seem to spend a lot of time flying in and around it in the morning.

It's interesting that they seem to be fussy about what they like. I thought they'd be drawn to the sweet scent that Sweet Autumn clematis is pumping out in the north alley but they seem to have no interest in at at all! (The splash of red in the picture is berries from the honeysuckles that are currently hidden under the clematis.)

They also largely ignore the 'Alma Potschke' deep pink asters, but swarm the purple asters (not sure of the variety). Randy was only able to get one picture where a Monarch is sitting on a pink aster - and the aster is a paler one that the rest of the Almas (maybe a cross with something else...?)

They also have no interest in the delphinium that is reblooming at the monent:

A couple of other butterflies have been sharing in the feast - not sure of the ID on this one:

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 4:28PM
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gottagarden(z5 western NY)

Love your photos! Here the monarchs love my Butterfly Bush, no surprize there, I guess. They also cluster over the coneflowers and verbena bonariensis. Haven't noticed them on my asters yet, will look more closely.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 6:27AM
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goldenpond((Vero.Beach FL 9b))


    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 12:47PM
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koszta_kid(Iowazone 5)

I also have had many monarchs. And have area about 15 feet long on tall asters. And they also like my kiss me over garden gate. Will put some rocks in a bird bath so they can get a drink.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 9:00AM
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Those are fabulous photos. Thank you for sharing the wonderful sight of so many monarchs in your yard. They are just beautiful!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 7:21PM
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