I was delighted to see several monarchs at The Lexington Arboretum yesterday. This is one of five that I saw nectaring, and I’m confident there were more.
They were in the new prairie area which was planted this spring. It’s located in the Shawnee Hills section of the “Walk across Kentucky Trail.” The showy blossoms are Plains Coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria), which has been been blooming for several weeks. The brightly-colored flowers are apparently a good source of fall nectar.
The monarch migration is in full swing. According to Journey North, lots of monarchs are already in Texas, and more are migrating south.
I’ve wondered if these seemingly fragile creatures can survive cooler temperatures, and I was glad to read, “…a monarch can fly 500 miles in 3 days when the wind is from the north. This fact can calm the fears of people in the north worried about late migrating monarchs.” This leaves me feeling better.
I’m glad the Arboretum has planted a prairie. It provides far more resources for wildlife than turf grass, and I’m especially glad the monarchs found it. I know we won’t be seeing them much longer, and I keep wondering which one will be the last of the year.