Yea! The first Fall migrating Monarch Butterfly of 2011 (at least the first one I’ve seen) has arrived. I might have seen two, but since I only was able to take a picture of one of them, I’ll just say one for now.
I spotted the male Monarch on our pink Butterfly Bush (a Hummingbird and Butterfly favorite). I couldn’t decide if I should try and tag him for his journey to Mexico or take a picture. I decided on taking the picture in hopes that I could attach a tag to him later, but I never could catch him for that.
So how do I know this is a Monarch that has likely migrated from Canada on its way to Mexico? Honestly I don’t know for sure, but there are a couple of signs. One, he’s a little faded on the wings and has some scratch marks on there as well. The second sign is he’s missing part of his lower left hind wing. That hints that this guy has been on a long journey.
If you haven’t visited Journey South recently (or haven’t visited their site before) I’d recommend you visit their site if you’re interested in the journey of the Monarch Butterflies. In their latest update, there’s some concern about the Migration of Monarch Butterflies through Texas because of the extreme drought we’ve been experiencing. If the Monarchs aren’t able to “fatten” up enough while migrating through Texas to make it through the Winter in Mexico, then this could affect their survival. Simply put, the drought has made it tough on all plants, including the important nectar plants that these Butterflies need to survive.