Return of the Monarchs (on my land, anyway)

As a kid in the midwest, I was always surrounded by Monarch butterflies this time of year. Our local fields were laden with milkweed (a necessary plant for Monarchs) and thousands of the damn butterflies.

Sadly, the population declined over time.

About 15 years ago, I let one of my fields go fallow, about 10 acres worth. Never produced much worthwhile in that field anyway. The field has returned to a state where it’s quite laden with milkweed again. But the number of local Monarch sightings continued to dwindle. I’d spot maybe 2 o 3 or 4 on any given day in Monarch season, at best.

But yesterday was different. Cutting across my field, I noted well over 100 (probably) different Monarchs. I was surprised by how enthused I was by that. Just like the days of my mis-spent youth.

I fear it’s not a trend internationally yet, but it was nice to see a resurgence in my back yard.

Just wanted to share that mundane, pointless observation.

Anybody else seeing Monarchs?

That’s not mundane and pointless at all.

It gives me a bit of hope in what has otherwise been a thoroughly miserable and depressing week.

Thank you.

I had 1 Monarch and 1 blue swallowtail sighting in my backyard today. Both were hanging around a clump of Sedum in bloom.

I have about 8 young milkweed plants in the perennial border that should bloom next year.

Congrats to Qadgop and his Monarch herd.

I’ve been raising monarch caterpillars for two years now. It’s fun and educational. I like to pretend I do it for the kids. I’ve been giving milkweed seeds away to lots of local friends, here outside Chicago. We’ll bring them back!

I have strong ties to Pacific Grove, CA, “Butterfly Town, USA” because of its spot on the path of monarchs. The populations have really dwindled. Would be great too see a tree heavy with them.

Yay. Great news!

I shall check into milkweed in my yard. Happy to do my part. :slight_smile:

Hurray for the Monarchs. This is actually one of my causes, I plant milkweed every where I can. For folks who want some free seeds, you can look it up online and get some. Go to for more info.

I also know someone in Skull Valley who will send free seeds, but she isn’t very fast as to replying because she is busy with her winery. PM me for the address.

Monarchs are dying out due to lack of places to lay their eggs and because of several catastrophic cold spells in their over wintering ground. They are amazing creatures, brains about the size of a pinhead if that big, but they migrate from Mexico to Canada and back every year. The ones who start their journey aren’t the ones who finish it because they can’t live long enough to do it. Milkweed that we plant for their migration helps every step of the way.

I have planted common milkweed, joe pye weed, and another forgotten name butterfly plant. I let my yard go to daisies and black-eyed susans, and I have several autumn joy sedums.

What I don’t have is butterflies. I had caterpillars one year, but never found a chrysalis. This year I saw one Monarch.

I’ll keep planting and hoping.

Today I was standing in the parking lot of a restaurant after brunch, talking to my cousins, and a monarch was circling us. Then I drove home (to the next town over) and took the dogs outside and there was a monarch circling us there!

My uncle is an avid lepidopterist and planted milkweed in my yard. My neighbor has a couple of plants that attract butterflies too. My huge butterfly bush in the front yard got killed last winter :frowning:


Growing up, we had a small vacant strip of land next to our house,upon which grew quite a few milkweed plants; as a result we had lots and lots of monarchs fluttering about our backyard all through my childhood. I hadn’t thought about that in a long, long time. Thanks for reminding me, Qadgop!

When I was a kid in the '50s, our suburb was still mostly woods and fields, and I was an avid amateur insectologist. Butterflies were the gems of my collection . . . monarchs & viceroys, all sorts of beautiful swallowtails, skippers, fritillaries, mourning cloaks, painted ladies, others. I wonder how many of them are still around. All I see in my yard these days are whites and sulphurs.

Next spring, I’ll be planting some milkweed.

you know the rules: pics or it didn’t happen. :wink:

No, srsly, please post some pics.

Return of the Monarchs should be the next big BBC drama.

Just saw a big one, a loner I guess, in our backyard yesterday. Our local groves have been very sparsely populated lately though.

I’ve seen exactly one all year.

The Missing Monarchs make me sad - they’re one of my favorites.

We did our part this year. We brought a monarch caterpillar into the house and raised it up into a beautiful butterfly.

Like InsomniaMama, I pretended to do it for the kids.

I saw quite a few caterpillars on my runs through the local fields this year, makes me happy every time I see one.

Yes, saw some Monarchs here in West Coast Michigan but the GrandBoss had all the weeds cut down the other day around the property. Milkweeds laying dead on the ground and butterflies looking for nutrition.
Made me sad, but at least I got to say “Hello” to a few of them.

Was on Hawk Mountain yesterday and in 3 hours must have seen 2 dozen.

I took Monarchs for granted as a kid but my mother would grumble about all the work it made when the milkweed pods split open and let out their airy seeds. She would have to clean our screens. Over the years, I noticed the demise of the milkweed and mourned it. Then I read about how it is connected to the lives of monarchs.

A couple of weeks ago, a friend slipped me some dry milkweed pods. The fallow churchyard above me is about to get some more varied life. :smiley:

Today I was sitting in my dad’s yard with him and telling him how the monarchs were back. And I pointed to the neighbor’s yard “there’s one!” Then over the west fence “And another!” And several more out beyond the yard :slight_smile:

Dad lives next to a freeway so there’s just weeds to the west of his house. My uncle likes to come over and collect cocoons and eggs there!