After three summers without, Monarch adults have arrived again this season. Years gone by we had rabbles and swarms and kaleidoscopes of them arriving in our driveway each summer to visit the common milkweeds we nurtured there for just this purpose, and every late summer we had Monarch larvae by the score chomping away until little was left but the stems of the plants we grew. And by fall they emerged from their jeweled cases and knowingly headed southwest. Every year.
Then, nothing. For three long summers no Monarchs arrived. The Milkweeds grew and flourished uneaten, and, unchecked, they spread and expanded and increased and took up room to challenge the space for the car. The multitude of richly fragrant blossoms, a perfume only we enjoyed, were willing hosts to our bees and other butterflies. But no Monarchs came to dine, to roost, to reproduce.
So this year we thought we’d up the ante. We’ll seriously ramp up the milkweed attraction index, we thought, and introduce more and more and different varieties of milkweed morsels. Monarch Watch supplied us with all we needed so we could add dozens of common and dozens of swamp milkweeds to the mix and to the yard and we’ll see if that doesn’t work.
LO! It did. In July. Adults, in tens but not yet scores, flitting amongst the old and the new. Landing. Touching. And somewhere mating and leaving behind their next generation.
And now, there be Monarchs Here Again.