Monarch (OTHER Observations)
Sightings report image

Date: 04/01/2018

Number: 1

This is a follow-up photo to my 4/01/2018 report (Monarch Adult Sighted). All day I saw monarchs nectaring from the yellow and pink thistles. They are often considered unsightly and a nuisance on a lawn, so are cut down or mowed. I find them in places that don't get mowed frequently or at all, such as the corner of a hay pasture or by an old tree stump. I consider them absolute treasures, because I know that the monarchs love them!

Today at one blessed corner of our neighbors hay field next to our driveway, I saw 5 monarchs all together squabbling over the 3 thistles that are currently blooming there. That corner also has an old round bale and lots of blackberry vines and nearby milkweed. We are very lucky to have a nice current grouping of 2 yellow and 2 pink thistles near each other in our yard. (When the pink came up this year I was delighted, since I hadn't seen any of that color for several years.) Many monarch adventures have ensued in this spot just recently. I saw a male capture a female and they mated at the base of the thistle. I often see males chasing each other and defending their thistle group. I have seen a male monarch so deeply nectaring and committed to holding his ground that he withstood multiple attacks from another monarch who wanted him to move ~ he kept his face in the nectar tendrils and said basically, "There is nothing you can do that will goad me into leaving this spot." The often monarchs appear extra energized after they nectar from these thistles.

This is a photo of one of our pink thistles with its top flower now done, but its side flower blooming and a beautiful male monarch nectaring from it. With all those spikes no wonder its name is Cirsium horridulum. Maybe the 'cirsium' comes from the Greek goddess Circe, an enchantress renowned for her vast knowledge of potions and herbs. To the monarchs this is a most enchanting nectar source!

Montgomery, TX

Latitude: 30.4 Longitude: -95.8

Observed by: Kathy
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