Methuselah Monarchs

As Fall approaches, so many changes are around us. Days are shortening and humans transition into different kinds of activities. Trees display their colors. Pollinators flock to late summer blooming plants such as New England asters, many kinds of milkweed, goldenrod, sedum, and sunflowers, to name a few. We’re glad we have grown some of these pollinator attractors as butterflies begin their Fall Fling.

In this region, Monarchs are making ready for more than a thousand-mile journey south into Mexico. How is that possible?

Earlier, here and further north, Monarchs have lived and died several generations this season by now. But as these late summer Methuselah generation caterpillars feed on Butterfly Weed, something amazing happens.

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When they emerge as butterflies, they are larger and have bigger wings than their parents. Instead of a lifespan of 2 – 6 weeks of earlier Monarchs this summer, this generation will live 7 – 8 months, feeding on nectar as they travel hundreds of miles to winter grounds. So many ways of Nature to observe around us and think about!

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Thanks for visiting Plant Exchange. We hope you find several topics of interest. Comment as you wish and do come back next week!

One thought on “Methuselah Monarchs

  1. Is it just me or does it seem like we have more monarchs this year? My garden has just been alive with them.
    They especially love Joe Pye and Verbena Bonariensis!

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