Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Monarch Migration

Every fall the monarchs migrate right through Kansas on their way back home to the Mexican mountains.  Migration starts at the end of August and lasts, in some places, until November.  We have been seeing a few monarchs here and there for 6 weeks or better now.  But over the last week or so, they have really increased in numbers.  I haven't seen any clusters of butterflies numbering in the hundreds (which I would love to see sometime) but probably around 20-30 at any given time in the yard.
They LOVE the caryopteris bushes, and many will be seen lunching and flitting around them at once.  There is a great view from the kitchen and dining room of the four bushes-and so I have caught  myself frequently looking to see what type of action is going on out there. Cami has just LOVED to go out and watch them.  She hasn't caught any, but would love to!
I'm asking Santa for a new camera that gets just a little closer.  If you'd like to check out some migration maps for yourself, click here.  You can report your own monarch sightings--it helps the wildlife trackers in their observations.  The site also has weekly updates on monarch migration through November. . if you're curious!!
And just for kicks, I had to post the elusive roadrunner that hangs out around here!  Early this past summer, I spent 1/2 hour chasing this little guy around the yard trying to get THE picture.  I felt like Wil E. Coyote playing cat and mouse with roadrunner--and he won.  I'm sure we must have been a sight. .me tiptoeing through my yard, taking cover behind trees and bushes trying to sneak up a little closer. . .and him running just out of my camera's reach and then starting the game all over again.  Finally he really took off, leaving me frustrated and disappointed.  He was fun to watch anyway. 
When I got home the other day after running some errands, Mr. Grant informed me that I just HAD to look at my camera.  He was smirking something terrible. .just waiting for the look on my face. And I didn't disappoint him!  He caught the picture from inside the living room, with the little guy up on my deck railing 8 feet away! You win a few and lose a few--but this guy eats snakes for lunch--so I want to win him!!
Hope you enjoyed the little peak of some of the exciting wildlife around these parts.  Look out your window--you might see something exciting in your own yard!! Have a great day!


  1. NO WAY!! I can't believe you have a roadrunner, and that Grant got that shot! That's so cool. Dawn and Kevin have resident road runners too, in NM. Those butterfly shots are fantastic. I have seen just a few here, too. Not even close to the number you have in your yard. Hoping to see more!

  2. The monarchs come through here too in Northeast KS. A few years ago, Harland took pics of bunches of them resting on a hedge tree. Beautiful.

  3. OK, I'm laughing at the vision I have of you "stalking" this roadrunner with a camera! That's a cool picture, though. Love your butterfly pics. I saw some butterflies in the yard last night, but not close enough to tell if they were Monarchs or not.

  4. That roadrunner is cute! I've seen a huge increase in butterflys and bees this year with my new plants! Hope next year is even better!!

  5. I love that shot of the road runner. That is definately a fair picture! It's always so fun to see what's going on with you all. Dale