Rise of the Monarchs

Last year was pretty dispiriting for fans of the beleaguered Monarch butterfly. I only saw one all year and the numbers from their winter habitat in Mexico weren’t particularly encouraging, which is one of the reasons why the government has proposed a series of steps to try to save the Monarch.

In the last few days, I’ve seen quite a few Monarchs around Minnesota, perhaps a dozen over the weekend alone.

Impressive? Not as impressive as this video from Sumter, Minn., where it’s claimed 250 Monarchs were spotted in a field on Saturday. But most of these look animated to me so I’m not declaring it real.

No matter. It’s still something to shoot for.

What’s the report from your garden?

  • Lobd

    I think I have been seeing two or three a day for a couple of weeks here in Merriam Park. Big improvement from last year!

  • Jack

    I’ve seen a couple around the neighborhood and a few more out where I work. There’s swampland with milkweed in my work neighborhood so I’m guessing that’s why I’ve seen a few more out there.

    Time to plant milkweed at home.

  • jon

    I’ve seen one or two monarchs per day near mounds view, maybe even the same one or two over and over again.

    They seem to be liking our marigolds… surprisingly the bumble bees aren’t going after the marigolds particularly much, they seem to be infatuated by the raspberries and what my neighbors call “Chinese medicine plant” (I call it a weed) as well as the morning glories.

    Honey bees are still pretty absent from my yard this year though. Last 2-3 years we had loads of them on various flowers at various times… now I’m lucky to see a small one here and there…

  • Andrea

    What you’re seeing is likely real. It’s the time of year where monarchs are “roosting” and nectaring as they begin their great migration to Mexico. I’m not a computer animation expert, but I am in my third year of butterfly gardening and they looked real enough to me.

  • DotWonder

    better than last year – but then again, i loaded up on butterfly friendly plants

  • Jeff

    I’ve seen quite a few in our Forest Lake area (or the same butterfly over and over). We are semi-rural with a lot of milkweed until the city decided to mow the roadside (evil scum). There’s been a lot more rain this summer than the last few years, I wonder if that has something to do with it.

  • Jaime Riotmuffin

    Lots of monarchs over the weekend in Mpls! Very encouraging to see more monarchs and bees, too, this year compared to last.

  • Jim G

    Just last week on one afternoon I saw a cluster of monarchs, maybe up to six at one time, around the Joe Pye Weeds in a low area of our yard where we have planted a rain garden. They are attracting a multitude of butterflies with sweet nectar. Joe Pye Weeds flower from midsummer into the fall attracting many types of bees and other native pollinators.