A very active monarch day!
Going out from 10:30-11:20am I saw at least 7 individual monarchs, most of them females looking for milkweed and egg-laying. Some were resting and sunning at times, also nectaring on wild blackberry blossoms and false garlic flowers. Males were also sailing around and nectaring. It was 62 degrees F, sunny (very bright), 55% humidity, and calm.
Walking around from 12:30-1:30 pm I saw at least 16 individual monarchs. Again, the majority of these were females egg-laying and/or looking for milkweed. They also were nectaring on wildflowers ~ the air was dry at 30% humidity and the temperature 69 degrees F with bright sunlight.
There were a couple incidents of female monarchs defending their milkweed territory against another female who came near. Just small air scuffles with one flying a bit away to look for milkweed in another space.
In one case I was following a slowly fluttering milkweed-looking female, when she zoomed about 20 feet away to a milkweed sprout area and chased away a female who was fluttering near the milkweeds ~ which did have multiple eggs on them already.
In another incident that ended somewhat differently, two females disputed over a milkweed group, but both quickly landed on individual milkweed sprouts (about 2 feet apart) and laid eggs at the same time.
In our front yard a mated pair landed on some orange marigolds (still in their store pots) ~ the male nectared for awhile, then they flew off to the trees. (When I purchased these small pots of marigolds at a garden center, a monarch was there nectaring on them. He had a large, colorful flower selection to choose from, but over and over he nectared from the marigolds. So, I knew which ones I definitely would be bringing home!)
Throughout the day I saw monarchs ... some quite faded, some not so much...a few with torn wings, but most in good shape. Humidity was low ~ by 5:30 pm at 27% (saw 3 monarchs on a quick outing). Nectar flowers were very important because of the dryness. The milkweed continues to emerge, but the females sure wish there was more right now!
This is a photo of a female laying eggs on a small fresh milkweed sprout ~ so wonderful to see her and glad the milkweed is getting more abundant.
Latitude: 30.4 Longitude: -95.8
Observed by: Kathy
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