A writer inspired by nature and human nature


 

The Great Monarch Migration

Each year from August through October, masses of monarch butterflies embark on a journey from the southern reaches of Canada that takes them 2500 Miles to remote mountain treetops in central Mexico. Millions of overwintering monarchs were discovered roosting there for the first time in 1975. Here at the farmstead in central Maine, monarch butterflies visit us from early June through mid to late September. As a citizen scientist, I report my sightings to Journey North . I invite you to visit their website to find out more about our amazing monarch butterflies and find out how you can help.

Hubby Dan and I have sighted sixty (60) monarchs so far this season. The monarch chrysalis in my photo collage was spun by a caterpillar Dan discovered on a day lily leaf when he was cleaning the garden on August 13, 2019. We transferred the caterpillar and part of the leaf to our back porch. By the time I put fresh batteries in the camera and returned, this chrysalis had already been spun. On August 31, a beautiful monarch butterfly had emerged and was resting on her chrysalis (yes, it was a girl, our 2019 Matilda) about noontime. We sat and watched for hours as she dried her wings. I moved her to a nearby phlox plant where she could rest and sip nectar as she prepared for her long journey  south. One of her friends (most likely a monarch sibling) stopped by to check on her several times. By 4:45 p.m., she was flitting and fluttering through the garden before she began soaring and landed on the birch wood pile before soaring away on her long journey south.

Note: The top left monarch was one of our earlier arrivals that stopped to lay eggs on our milkweed. The others are all of our amazing Matilda who is on her way to Mexico!

Leaders from U.S., Mexico & Canada have agreed to help protect this threatened species through the NAFTA trade agreement. Groups and individual citizens continue to band together to support and protect monarch butterflies. Together we can make a difference!

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

  • Plant native milkweed
  • Provide nectar plants
  • Avoid pesticides
  • Report your monarch sighting observations to JourneyNorth.org

Bette A. Stevens is the author/illustrator of award-winning picture book Amazing Mailda, A Monarch’s Tale.

Here’s what two readers have to say:

“A beautiful message of love, patience, perseverance, and belief. The story is told with a frog, bird, rabbit, and the butterfly as the main characters. A perfect book for children mainly to teach them about the cycles of life and the importance of patience, perseverance, and keeping faith in a dream.” ~Karen Ingalls

“I can’t wait to give this to my grandchildren and will enjoy our reading time together with this delightful tale!” ~ D.L. Finn

Amazing Matilda (2019) is on her way to Mexico! 

 

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Comments on: "Celebrate the Great Monarch Butterfly Migration & Help Protect this Threatened Species!!" (67)

  1. Always have milkweed in my garden. I feel encouraged because I have seen more monarchs in my garden this summer.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s awesome, Barbara! “If we plant it, they will come…” Needless to say, this time of year they need nectar from late summer and autumn blooms to fuel them on they way. We have phlox, mint and a variety of wildflowers still hanging on. Journey North is a great organization for tracking many species of migrating wildlife. Thanks so much for all you do! ❤

      Like

  2. I didn’t know about this until this post. Thank you for spreading the word.

    Have a fabulous day, Bette. ♥

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much for stopping by to support our amazing Monarch butterflies, Sandee. They need plenty of nectar plants as this time of year, so gardeners with autumn blooms help fuel them on the way to their winter destination. These are usually 4th and 5th generation monarchs–larger wings to aid them on this long journey. During the summer breeding season, monarchs live for only 2-6 weeks. But the monarchs that migrate to Mexico in the fall are different: They are born in late summer, stay alive all winter, and migrate north the following spring. when they begin their journey north and foster the next generation. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is wonderful, Bette; thanks for reminding all of us!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for the Journey North link. Dear Husband and I saw three in late July or early August. Looks like other people in Virginia saw them about that time too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Priscilla! Delighted you found the link to Journey North and that you and hubby had a chance to spot three of our glorious monarchs this summer. Sighting a monarch butterfly is like a watching a cathedral’s stained-glass window dancing just for me! ❤ Blessings and love, my friend. xo

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  5. Your special relationship with these beautiful creatures is magical, Bette. I’m so glad that they are being encouraged and protected in their flight. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Magical is a perfect descriptor for the monarchs…these glorious creatures sure know how to pass their magic along… I’m grateful for so many concerned citizens helping them along the way. Thanks so much for stopping by to cheer us on! ❤ xo

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow! I am amazed at the way you care for these lovely butterflies Bette. Love and hugs for being so kind dear friend. Love those pictures. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for stopping by to celebrate our sensational butterflies, dear Balroop! I’ve loved monarch butterflies–growing up (early years) in northern California it was love at first sight… ❤ Blessings and love, dear friend! xo

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I loved this post, Bette! How wonderful you see so many monarchs. Every time I see one, I think of you. xo Thanks for sharing the journey link!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I love that you’re sighting monarchs too, Jill! They are such exquisite creatures. And guess what? All of our pollinators (yest, even the hummers) love the milkweed blooms… What an amazing world we have to delight in every single day! So glad you checked the Journey North link. The more data, the merrier for the monarchs! ❤ Blessings and love, my friend.

      Like

  8. Love monarchs!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ultra said:

    In my garden it dandelions a lot, but this butterfly does not fly to Poland. I saw him at the Butterfly House. Thank you for letting me know how to help butterflies survive.
    Regards

    Liked by 1 person

    • How lovely that you’ve had a chance to visit the Butterfly House and see our glorious monarch butterflies in Poland, Ultra! Thanks so much for stopping by to celebrate the monarch butterflies with me today. Here in Maine, USA we have lots of dandelions in gardens, lawns, fields and roadsides. My husband and I pick them, dig them and eat them in many ways during spring and early summer. Here’s a link to some Dandelion Recipes we love and thought you might enjoy! ❤ xo

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  10. A lovely post, Bette. Such beautiful creatures.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. You and my daughter would get along fine! She loves Monarchs too! They are amazing. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I planted the Buddleia this year but the plant is too young to attract butterflies. We have two Monarchs flying between my garden and the neighbor’s. I’ll plant Milkweed next year. A lovely post, Bette!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This is beautiful 🎐

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Lovely post Bette.. and I have seen more butterflies this year since I changed my pot plants out. Will share tomorrow in the blogger daily.. ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Oh dear Bette! How incredibly lovely!!! Cher xo

    Liked by 1 person

  16. How delightful, Bette! Thank you for sharing. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  17. So beautiful!

    Like

  18. Citizen scientists are great! As a scientist scientist, I definitely appreciate when there’s people who help collect data and look for ways to contribute to our collective knowledge. So thanks for your hard work!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. love this butterfly. I just had a great conversation with my daughter about the monarch and others https://noelliesplace.com/2019/09/17/butterflies/

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Thank you for sharing a part of your world and lovely photos!!.. have not seen the number of Monarchs as normally do, no doubt the human race has had a impact on their numbers… try to help as best we can here…. 🙂

    Until we meet again…

    May the sun shine all day long
    Everything go right, nothing go wrong
    May those you love bring love back to you
    May all the wishes you wish come true
    May peace be within you
    May your heart be strong
    May you find whatever you’re seeking
    Wherever you may roam
                      (Irish Saying)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the visit and lovely note, Larry. Thanks also for all you continue to do in your little corner of the planet to help make a better world for all of us. ❤ Blessings and love.

      Like

  21. I saw ONLY one at the river yesterday. But I don’t think we are part of their flyway. The tend to stick to the coastline and we are 50 miles inland. I hope that’s why there was only one. Our parks are natural, so if the plants ever grew here, they are still growing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Marilyn. Yay is what I say…if you saw one there are (were) more! Thanks so much for stopping by to check out our monarch baby girl (No heavy black dots on back wings). 🙂 I wasn’t out on the porch or in the yard as much as usual this season, so I’m sure if I spotted 60+, there were many more. Monarchs are such glorious creatures, I’m delighted that so many individual and groups are helping support them. Leaves are turning quickly now and the glory of autumn is at hand. Every season has its gifts–may yours always be beautiful and bountiful! ❤ xo

      Like

  22. Bette, you are so committed to the monarch world. We have a few who flit and flutter through our yard here in Oregon during summer. Thanks for a beautiful and knowledgeable post and exquisite images.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I love butterflies Bette. I appreciate the tips you pointed out too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Wonderful, Bette! I no longer pull milkweed. Now, I am part of helping the monarch butterflies. I see them in my garden. It feels so good to make a difference.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. How absolutely beautiful Bette! And what an honor for me to discover you are following my blog, thank you. I also see you are also an accomplished writer so I look forward to read more about you. Blessings back, ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  26. If I ever have my own property (or access to my own garden,) I’m definitely going to plant species for butterflies. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Monarch butterflies were a big part of my childhood. I still get a thrill whenever I see one.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I have been tracking the number of Monarch butterflies in my yard the summer frequent ongoing post that I call how many monarch butterflies in my backyard yesterday. I shortened that to the acronym HMBY and call it my HMBY post. I bought a milkweed and planted it and also have gathered a bunch of seeds from my neighbor who has a monarch butterfly waystation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s wonderful Joe! Thanks so much for sharing… My total HMAF (How many monarch butterflies at farmstead) was a whopping 70! They are such magnificent creatures and it’s great that so many gardeners, citizens and community groups are helping them thrive. ❤ Thanks so much for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  29. I am so thrilled that in the past several days I have met so many new soul sisters and perhaps a brother along the path as well. You are definitely one of them! I absolutely LOVE the Monarch butterflies, and I recently wrote a post on my blog about how the Monarch caterpillars came to visit me and prepare for the coming of the butterflies. At first I did not know what they were, and only saw that they were devouring my beloved Milkweed plants. But for caterpillars, they were absolutely regal, and I decided to look them up. I am so happy that I did. They ate every leaf of the milkweed, and so I felt a bit bad about that, but in one week, every single leaf was back and more healthy than ever! I await that tribe of butterflies when they come around. I have not seen but one yet, but I know they are somewhere nearby.

    Liked by 2 people

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