They don't eat anything while they are there, so the monarchs must fuel up on nectar as they travel. They have been landing like feathers shaken out of a pillow on the zinnias I plant every year especially for them.
Thursday was a perfect migration day for the butterflies. They fluttered over the goldenrod in the school's Outdoor Learning Lab in such large numbers that my five STEM students trapped and tagged 16 in just 20 minutes.
When I got home, I pulled a chair up to my zinnia patch and settled in for the show. The butterflies rose and drifted away at my intrusion, but I knew the flowers would draw them back quickly.
First one, then multiples of flapping, fluttering stained glass joy returned and landed on the flower bar.
How many can you find in the next picture?
There was even a spotted intruder. Not sure what kind of butterfly he was, but he dropped down to join his cousins.
As dusk fell, the last of the butterflies rose up and fluttered off. I know that they roost overnight huddled together for warmth in a roost tree, usually a pine, but although I tried to follow their erratic flights, I never did discover where they landed.
No matter, they left behind joy and a new appreciation for the beautiful world we share. Isn't God amazing?