Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Missing Monarchs

Photo by and (c)2009 Derek Ramsey (Ram-Man) (Self-photographed) [GFDL 1.2 (], via Wikimedia Commonsion

Gardening and nature-loving friends are beginning to ask: Have you seen any monarchs yet? Sadly, the most frequent answer this year is, "No."

Earlier this month, The Boston Globe ran a story about missing monarchs at the Boston Nature Center, which is owned by the Massachusetts Audubon Society. From that article:

Even in the nature center’s small, 1,680-square-foot butterfly garden in Mattapan, where there is plenty of milkweed, the monarchs are nowhere to be found. Naturalist Andrew MacBlaine says he has seen just one monarch in the garden all summer. Last summer they were “all over the place,” he said.


Where have all the monarch butterflies gone? is a headline from today's Intelligencer Journal in Lancaster, PA.

From Tupper Lake, NY, there is this article: Monarch butterfly population plummets .

Here in Saratoga County (NY) my own garden is thick with milkweed and phlox and Joe Pye weed. While we have seen plenty of swallowtails and smaller butterflies this year, not a single monarch has yet visited.

So how is it in your neck of the woods? Have you seen any monarchs? 

Can this species rebound?

An autumn without monarchs, a world without monarchs... I don't want to think that can happen.