One Monarch Tagged and Sent Off with A Kiss

 Asia Sends off Tagged Monarch Butterfly with a kiss    

Friends came all the way from New York to tag Monarch butterflies, and we were lucky to get JUST ONE this weekend.   Asia, pictured above, learned to place the tag on the discal cell, before sending the healthy male off with a kiss.  It was the lone tagged Monarch in our guests’ Lucky Boy  weekend.                       

While the Chicago Marathon was cut short because of the heat, our clever butterfly friends sat out the 90-degree temperatures somewhere north of Mason County.

Marilyn, Lee, Asia, Austin, Peggy, Pat and David came from Woodstock, New York, Dallas and Austin, respectively, nets in hand.  We spent several hours combing the pecan trees along the Llano River on foot and via kayak.   Fewer than a dozen Monarchs were spotted all weekend.  While Asia tagged one Saturday morning and I nabbed one upon arrival Friday, it was another weekend of Queens, fritillaries and the occasional Red Admiral.  

We had other encounters with butterflies, though.  Lee and Austin performed an experiment on Gulf Fritillaries for Austin’s science project, whereby five butterflies were placed in the refrigerator for one – five minutes.  We recorded how long it took each to “wake up”  and fly off.     I bet Austin gets an “A” on his science project.   Austin, please let us know how that turns out.

Texas Monarch Watch assigns the late arrival to an extremely warm September.  The Monarchs appeared to be in Oklahoma this weekend, about two weeks behind schedule.  With the cutleaf daisies going to seed and the milkweed drying up, nectar sources may be scarce by the time they arrive.  Goldenrod is still on the river, but not much. 

We’ll be waiting for them next weekend with some overripe watermelon as a welcome mat.  Stay tuned.

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2 Responses to “One Monarch Tagged and Sent Off with A Kiss”

  1. Jenny Says:

    Enjoying all your reports, Monica. Hang in there – we know they are just waiting for a good cold front to come to Texas. Hope it is this weekend!!

  2. monikamaeckle Says:

    Ha! Jenny I saw a couple on IH 35 today while driving to and from Austin. Humidity is evaporating and the temperatures are sagging a bit–this weekend could be a jackpot.

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