by Dorey Schmidt
a creature scarcely four inches across, with fragile orange and black
wings, weighing less than half an ounce, flying up to six thousand miles
to find warmth and shelter from winter climes.
Imagine tens of
thousands of such creatures passing through Wimberley, pausing for only
a few days to delight local nature lovers.
If you can
imagine this, you have envisioned the Monarch Butterfly migration,
which happens every spring and fall..
the fall, monarchs by the millions begin leaving the northern states when
temperatures start to fall below 60°F, passing through the Hill Country
in early to mid-October on their way to Mexico and Central America.
Although their visit is brief, longer lingering may be encouraged by
planting milkweed and butterfly plants in your garden
In the spring, migrating females lay eggs on milkweed plants they find as they fly, recolonizing the southern United States before they die.
here for more...
can provide a special treat for the
intrepid travelers by placing slices of watermelon in prominent sunny
places in the yard. Scratch the surface of the melon flesh, and while
the Monarchs gorge themselves on the sweet juices, you may enjoy their
beauty until with a flap of their wings, they bid us “adios”
and continue south.
Photo by Paul B.
courtesy of Monarch Watch
Dorey Schmidt is a former Wimberley writer and publisher. The butterfly release at the EmilyAnn
Theatre was Dorey's idea! She originally ordered the larvae and supervised the
hatching and care and feeding of 250 Painted Lady Butterflies. The
butterfly release is now a Wimberley tradition.