The Monarch butterflies are on their way. The great monarch migration from their over-wintering habitat in Mexico began about a month ago with butterflies recently spotted as far north as Arkansas and Tennessee (you can track their migration through maps.journeynorth.org).
Locally, last year we had the best year in a long time for sightings of monarchs. ECF established several butterfly gardens that we monitored during the summer and fall. Every milkweed plant had eggs and resulting caterpillars. Planting milkweed does make a difference.
Unfortunately, the total population did not do as well with a 53% decline from the prior year. This was attributed to lower than normal temperatures in Texas and the south last March 2019, just when the ‘Mexico” monarchs arrived, which resulted in lower production of the next and subsequent generations.
ECF has ordered 30 milkweed plants that will be provided free for anyone willing to establish or supplement their butterfly garden. We expect the plants to be available in May. Contact Bill Allan to reserve your plant. If possible, a program on monarchs will be scheduled at the Eastham Library in June or July.