Multiple roosting & migrating monarchs preparing for the journey south at our local jump off point near peninsula point lighthouse on the Stonington peninsula. My buddy Amy Rock of powers Michigan shot the pix & sent them to me. I camped up there with her a couple days before the migration started & a thunderstorm with 70 mph gusts delayed migration. She stayed & sent me pictures to relay for this migration study :)
[Additional information contributed by observer, added by Journey North, 09/17/21]:
My observations of the # of butterflies in each picture were a guess based upon the number which usually gather & migrate vs what I could roughly count in each picture at a glance. Stonington peninsula has a nice open field around the lighthouse with plenty of trees to roost in & flowering plants up the entire 20 mile long peninsula. This is a regular migration stop off for monarchs in this area. The unobstructed gathering point provides thousands of monarchs a clear open location to feed & rest before the straight shot across one of the narrower points directly South/Southwest across lake Michigan. Amy was fortunate enough to wake up in time for daylight when she feet the sun warning up her camper, pop some coffee on & go the last half mile or so from the campground to the point where they were roosting around 8 or 9 am when she took the pictures. We've been experiencing severe thunderstorms the last couple weeks so it delayed their typical migration by a few days this year. The carpet of orange typical of the location photographed usually happens around the last week of August to the first week of September. She & her husband Mike stayed out there & rode out the storm for a week & 1/2 to catch the peak of migration. She said she caught them waking up & some of the first group flights taking off from their overnight roosting spots. All pictures were taken from near the parking lot of the peninsula point lighthouse where the migration pauses to feed & go in groups over a couple days across the lake. They were observed from ground vegetation level up to the first few limbs of local surrounding trees, 20-30 ft off the ground average coverage. Not sure quite what elevations the limbs she photographed were at. Probably first limbs or 2-3 limbs up each tree. She's on the short end of 5' tall so I'm assuming the pics were taken at best focal length for her observation from the relatively flat parking area. She said they were all around her & she took multiple angles. It is almost a directly southern shot across the lake from Stonington & that was the general direction of group flight with many still nectaring in various directions towards flowering plants.
I still see a couple of monarchs floating around my house where most of my previous location reports have been from, nectaring on the remainder of my various flowering plants for the last 2-3 days. Not all of them have jumped across the lake yet. Healthy migrating population up here. Should be a good bunch from this area reaching their southern wintering spots :)
Rapid River, MI
Latitude: 45.7 Longitude: -87
Observed by: James
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