From around noon through 4:45 p.m. we encountered dozens of monarchs along the Blue Ridge Parkway from Heintooga Ridge Road to Cherry Cove Overlook. We would stop at various overlooks and take a count. Temperatures ranged from 70 to about 75 degrees then fell to 66 degrees late in the afternoon with nearby thunderstorms. There was little breeze and it was a sunny, beautiful day. We counted 6 between Thunderstruck Ridge and Richland Balsam O.L. (the highest point on the Blue Ridge Parkway) with an additional 6 seen at that latter location. From there to Caney Fork O.L., we counted an additional 22. We spent an hour at Caney Fork where over 100 came through while we ate lunch. There were more that went uncounted below our line of sight. We traveled on along the Parkway counting 11 at Courthouse Valley during a brief stop and then 12 at Looking Glass Rock O.L. At 4:05 we arrived at Cherry Cove O.L. where we saw many last year, but only spotted one. Turning around to go back down the Parkway we stopped again at Looking Glass Rock O.L and counted 18 between 4:10 and 4:20 (73 degrees). Our final stop was back at Caney Fork O.L. where we made a quick count around 4:45 and saw at least 39 more. The temperature dropped to 66 degrees with approaching clouds and a thunderstorm nearby. A glorious day!
Latitude: 35.3 Longitude: -83
Observed by: Elizabeth
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