Monarchs at the Arboretum

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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.

Monarch at arboretum

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.

Monarch at arbortetum close-up

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.

8 thoughts on “Monarchs at the Arboretum”

  1. Beautiful images Betty!

    It’s amazing that something seemingly so fragile can travel 500 miles in three days.
    I’m glad to see that more people are planting milkweed and other plants to try and increase the population.

    1. Kevin, I agree that the 500 miles per day is amazing. Apparently they aren’t as fragile as they look. I, too, am encouraged at the number of folks who concerned and doing what they can to help.

  2. Joanna and I traveled to Franklin KY last week to dedicate two monarch waystations there. On the trip down 127 and the Cumberland Parkway we counted 20 monarchs traveling south. Then we saw one at each garden. They had had 6 earlier that day. What a wonderful surprise.

    1. Linda, glad to hear of your sightings along the road. And what timing to have one at each garden to help with the dedication. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Thanks for the info Betty. I too was worried about the 4 monarchs and 1 chrysalis that I saw this weekend at our rural property in Woodford County. Glad to know it’s not too cold for them yet!

  4. Hello Betty, and thank you for all the information about the Monarch butterfly migration. Amazing! It’s great to read all the other comments too, and learn
    more about the nature of your wildlife. Your photos of the monarchs collecting nectar from the Coreopsis are splendid and so colour co-ordinated !

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