Monarch season 2011

woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)September 26, 2011

'Tis the season for the monarchs to gather before heading south across the lake... They arrived on Saturday and are still here this morning. Randy and Liam's 'daddy' had a photo session with them Saturday afternoon. Jared's photos aren't up on his on-line photo albums yet but Randy uploaded his last night - finally!

Here are two views I took of the heptacodium tree from the front porch early Saturday morning before the butterflies were active. I was just trying to show the size of the tree and the context around it. The highbush cranberries at the edge of the garage produced so much fruit this year that the branches have bowed down so low that you have to duck to get under them to walk down the center path in the front bed or along the path beside the garage. If the stems don't straighten-up again next spring after the fruit is gone, I'm going to need to do some severe pruning...!

The Queen Elizabeth rose in the driveway border is doing a fabulous bloom at the moment. The stems are well over 6' tall and have been flowering like mad for quite a while now. We like it tall so only cut it down to about 18-24" in spring.

Randy didn't get a really good shot showing how many butterflies are in the heptacodium tree but you can see quite a few in this one:

I like the vivid contrast between the butterfly and the blue sky in this one:

And the butterfly in this one was unusually orange - usually there are paler colors on the wings too. There seemed to be more butterflies this year that are just a strong orange and black...

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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I wonder if there are more females than males.....

Here is a link that might be useful: monarchs

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 11:52AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Interesting link gb - I didn't know there was an easy way to tell male from female. But what I meant about color is less subtle than that - you can see another butterfly to the right of the orange one in that last pictue. The colors on the one on the right run from a pale yellowish color to orange. I'm more used to seeing monarchs like that than ones that are some solidly orange.

We're about to take the dogs for a walk by the lake, near one of the points whre the butterflies depart to cross the lake. We're hoping there will be a lot of them there....

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 1:34PM
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michelle_zone4

What fun! Kenzie would go nuts she loves butterflies.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 11:10PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Michelle - the little girls that live across the street love butterfly time and come over to watch them fluttering about...

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 10:29AM
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triple_creek(z5)

What fun that you get to witness this event Woody.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 1:22PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

There are still a few Monarchs around this morning but the heptacodium is dropping petals fast:

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 10:27AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I noticed many more monarchs here yesterday!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 11:11AM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

A feast for the eyes. Thank you Woody! I hope someday to witness a big Monarch Butterfly gathering in person, but in the meanwhile, that was very satisfying, indeed. Thanks to the photographer, too!

Yeona

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 5:07PM
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christie_sw_mo(Z6)

I enjoyed your photos Woodyoak. I hardly ever have more than one Monarch at a time in my yard. I saw four yesterday nectaring on my zinnias though, on their way to Mexico I suppose.
I've seen a couple other people post photos of Heptacodium covered in Monarchs and it makes me want one. I tried to root cuttings last summer and I've never had anything hold its leaves for so long and not grow roots. I'm still mad at them. lol

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 9:05AM
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