Thursday, October 2, 2008

Monarchs at Purgatory Creek

Purgatory Creek Park also had a few butterflies for me to photograph. On this occasion they were all monarchs.
It is always fun to photograph monarchs, mostly because they are usually in better shape then most other butterflies.
This probably has a lot to do with the fact that they are toxic to most predators because of the milkweed that they ingest during their larval stage.
By now most of the remaining monarchs have probably headed south. They migrate down to Mexico or Southern California. They will spend the winter in large groups in these areas and then when spring comes they will mate and then die. The offspring that are produced down south in the spring will make their way north and will be the first brood that we see next year.
Those monarchs that hatch earlier in the summer do not migrate. They will spend 3 to 4 weeks in their adult butterfly stage. During this time they will mate, as shown above, and then die shortly after the eggs are laid.

1 comment:

Leedra said...

I saw my first milkweed this summer, odd isn't it. Even odder, earlier this evening I was going through the photos of the bees and butterflies on the milkweed. Last week the farmer mowed it. Don't know if it will be back next year. If it is, is there a way for me to get a start of the milkweed? Seeds?