Saturday, September 10, 2011

Heading South: Monarchs on Migration

Last month a monarch caterpillar found a nice cozy spot under a cabbage leaf and decided to pupate there. It walked a fair distance before finding shelter, because the nearest patch of milkweed is a football field's length away.

After 24 hours it had changed into a chrysalis.It was well protected from wind and weather and, apparently, anything interested in munching on chrysalides. Not to mention that the chrysalis blended well with the color of the cabbage leaf...

Now it’s waiting to join the vast Monarch migration southward, to Mexico – which, given where we live (42nd parallel) should peak over the next two weeks. 

If you live south of the 45th parallel, now’s the time to start paying attention to Monarch butterflies. Scientists are interested in them and you can help by gluing tags on Monarchs you catch in your neighborhood. It’s a great way to spend sunny autumn days with your children and helps scientists learn more about these butterflies. You can learn more at Monarch Watch.

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