Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Migrating Monarchs

One thing I didn't realize about this paddle was that we were lucky enough to schedule it during the migration season for the monarch butterflies. The air was full of them - even out in the Atlantic you'd see them fluttering by. They don't hold still for very long, but I did actually get a nice picture of 2 of them on the 3rd & final lunch break, we pulled out on a little beach at Davis Park and there was a bush there that all the pollen-gatherers & nectar-sippers just loved. Here are two of them having lunch on their way to their winter home.

Just amazing to look at them & think of how far they are flying.

Reminded me of something from childhood -

My dad was stationed near Vallejo, California for about a year when I was in 5th grade. we were at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard while his sub was being overhauled. I really enjoyed that stay in northern California. I have incredible recollections of a lot of wonderful things that we'd go do - visiting San Francisco, going to see snow in the Sierra Nevadas (incredibly neat for a couple of snow-deprived kids who'd been mostly in Hawaii for the prior few years...awwwww, poor us...), Yosemite, stuff like that. Most of the spectacular memories involved a bit of driving - but I also have vivid recollections of a small park with a eucalytpus grove that was just a block or two from our house on base that happened to be a rest stop for the monarchs.

They'd hang from the trees in massive clusters. It looked like fall. Incredible.

I never saw near that many during this paddle, but there were almost always at least a couple, sometimes five or six, on this bush while we were there, and dozens in the air, everywhere you looked. We have had plenty stopping over at Sebago, too - they are enjoying the garden & I'm glad that we've provided them with a nice place to rest & refuel on their long flight south.

Oh, btw, speaking of gardeners, gotta give a big shoutout to Adele the Gardening Chair, voted Volunteer of the Year. Hear, hear! Thanks again for making the club so beautiful, and introducing me to a really enjoyable (and yummy!) hobby!

oops, almost forgot - I decided to do this quick post (which is a cheater post as I incorporated a post I put up on NYCKayaker) after reading about the CKayaker household's new resident. That will be interesting! Michael, if you need any info on keeping your new pet happy, check out MonarchWatch.org!

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