Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Monarch Migration!

Every year in late August, the Monarch Butterfly begins its migration south to overwinter. They migrate in the western United States from Canada and the northern Rockies to Monterey where they overwinter. In the Eastern United States, they migrate from Canada and the northern United States flying south down into Texas and then on into Mexico to overwinter there. Their Mexican winter home was a secret known only to locals until 1975 when a scientist discovered them.

In late September of 2003, on my way home from a trip to the Upper Peninsula in Michigan, I drove home via Wisconsin and Illinois. Stopping southwest of Chicago at Goose Lake Prairie to visit the tallgrass prairie there, I just happened upon migrating Monarchs. Wow was that a sight to behold! There were hundreds and hundreds of them everywhere. Not only was it my first visit to a tallgrass prairie, but I had never seen a migration of anything other than perhaps Canadian Geese before in my life. I doubt I'll ever experience anything like it again.

I had not seen a Monarch Butterfly all spring or summer this year until Saturday at Bernheim when I stopped to take in some beautiful purple wildflowers blooming next to the wildflower meadow. There were two Monarch Butterflies there amongst the wildflowers. One flew away toward the south and the other stuck around for me to get a few images. I had been wanting to photograph a Monarch all summer yet hadn't seen not a single one. I was happy this one decided to grace me with his appearance long enough to take a few photographs. ENJOY!


  1. I LOVE your new header! It's gorgeous and totally captures the feel of autumn. Beautiful butterflies too!

  2. I have never seen a migration. Wow, that must have been something. I see you were able to get really close. Nice shots. My astes are blooming, but I haven't seen butterflies on them this year.