Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Belated Butterfly

Three Monarchs were reported in Toronto on October 27th so this male is not exceptionally behind schedule on the long journey to its wintering grounds in Mexico. But October 28th is definitely the latest I have seen one in my area (south-central Hastings County, Ontario).

The butterfly was generally southbound but flying into the prevailing breeze, stopping frequently to fuel up at some late blooming Bull Thistles. As a rule I wouldn't bother with capturing such an easily identifiable insect but I thought it might be worth checking if it was tagged (no, it was not).

Although it rained this morning the sun peeked out for a couple of hours and the temperature hovered near 20°C. It felt a lot warmer due to the humidity and a few Cabbage Whites and Clouded Sulphurs were also out and about, mostly nectaring at Dandelions or "puddling" at moist soil. Within the past week a Painted Lady, a Mourning Cloak and a some Eastern Commas have also been sighted.

One thing that certainly is exceptional, considering the time of year, is the awesome weather! After all, we could be looking at snow flying rather than butterflies ...