Friday, November 01, 2013

Monarchs Arriving in the Mountains of Central Mexico

I'd like to think that this monarch, which visited our backyard garden in Princeton, NJ on September 20 to feed on some ironweed nectar, is arriving today at its overwintering site in the mountains of Michoacan, north and east of Mexico City. The red triangle at the bottom of this map shows their destination. It's quite a feat for them to zero in on the tiny spot on the earth whose microclimate cradles them through another winter. The last leg of their journey, buoyed by favorable winds and guided by the mountains, is described here.

Another site offers insights into their arrival's cultural significance:

"Every year, the first monarchs traditionally arrive at their winter home in Mexico by the first of November. People connect the arrival of the monarchs with two events that take place in Mexico at the time, the corn harvest and Dia de los Muertos."

Be well, monarch. May your children's children visit us next year.

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