Monday, October 3, 2016

Monarch Butterflies Flutter Across Texas in Autumn

Monarch Butterflies must begin their journey each fall ahead of cold weather.  They travel 3,000 miles from their summer home in the Rocky Mountains and migrate south to Mexico for warmer weather to wait out the winter months.  They fly through Texas in the month of October.
North American Monarchs are the only butterfly that make such an incredible journey.  Butterflies that emerge from Chrysalises in late summer and early fall make the journey.  They are born to fly and know the changing weather means its time to prepare for travels.
They love to sip nectar from purple flowers for energy.  It took several generations of butterflies living their cycle for a period of one year to prepare for just the right Monarch to hatch.
It will be the great grandchildren to make the trip.  They open their wings to feel the warm sun.
The average life span in the wild is 6 to 8 months.  The wingspan is 4 to 10 inches.  Flutter is their group name.  They are about the size of a tea cup.
The butterfly lays their eggs on milkweed plants.  The larvae enjoys eating the green plant and becomes beautiful caterpillars.  They create a hard shell and enter the pupa stage.  They emerge as black, orange, and white adults.  They have an interesting pattern on their wings.  The black etching makes the Monarch Butterfly easy to recognize.
So when you see orange and white polka dotted butterflies flutter by, remember the journey they must make to get there.  

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