Monarchs Bypass Nectar Fest at Lucky Boy


What if you gave a nectar party and nobody came?  Imagine assembling the perfect feast for special guests who choose to skip your soiree.

That’s how it felt this weekend at Lucky Boy, as an open bar of milkweed, goldenrod, purple mist flower and standing cypress awaited the arrival of our honored guests: migrating Monarch butterflies.  But they were no-shows.

Plenty of other butterfly friends stopped by.  A fritillary festival of sorts, with a variety of Swallowtails–Blacks, Pipevines and Tigers–an abundance of Queens and even a few Red Admirals, who hadn’t made an appearance in a long while.

This weekend, Monarchs were conspicuously absent.  In seven hours of attempts, only nine Monarchs were netted and tagged, bringing our season total to 32.  Oma tagged her first.  Congratulations!

Frustration grew as hundreds of Queens, like the one pictured above, posed as their idols.  The pink milkweed which lured the Monarchs to our riverbanks two weeks ago has gone to seed or was destroyed by aphids.  Perhaps they passed us by for a more enticing nectar Happy Hour.  Or, more likely, gusty winds and looming storms kept them moving south, high in the clouds, riding the wave.  

Jenny says Monarchs are ubiquitous in her frontyard milkweed patch in Grapevine.  And she’s sending them our way.  Better luck next week.


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