Missing The Migration Train

The migration of Monarch butterflies is a well-known natural event. They’re conspicuous in their passage through Connecticut during September and October. Some butterflies, especially Orange Sulphurs, fly well after the Monarchs have departed, but the occasional late migrants serve as a reminder that things don’t always go off like clockwork in nature.

I was at Bantam Lake in Litchfield on Wednesday, one of our recent run of unseasonably warm days, when a lone Monarch circled low around a dirt parking lot at Point Folly. It eventually settled on a sun-drenched patch of dead leaves near the lake shore. I’m not sure if this was an individual behind schedule because it emerged late from its chrysalis, because its migration-timing mechanism was faulty or because it had ridden southerly winds in the wrong direction. Whatever the answer, it probably applied as well to another Monarch I saw Thursday morning at Long Beach in Stratford.

Winds of a powerful cold front gusted today, underlining a thought I’d had upon watching those two Monarchs – they’re not going to make it to Mexico.


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