Monday, July 07, 2008
More fireworks? No, milkweed -- and we need more of it for those migratory wonders, the Monarchs
We need more of these plants to keep the Monarch Butterfly life cycle intact. The annual migration to Mexico by these featherlight living aircraft is one of nature's wonders. In most species, migrations are led by veterans of an earlier migration, and this training of the young by their elders is something we can more or less understand based on our own experience. Not so with Monarchs, which are far more mysterious. The round trip spans several generations, whose individual life spans are shorter than the complete north to south and back north again trek. That's what caused the NY Times to refer memorably to migrating Monarchs as "leaderless orphans" a couple of years ago.