Releasing a
Late-Season Monarch
Nov. 11, 2020

  I had begun preparing this page a few weeks ago, but I suppose I found it difficult to write, since the release represents our last monarch of 2020.

As it was, raising late-season monarchs was more than challenging. For starters, for the caterpillars, our milkweed was beginning to lose its potency by mid-September. The caterpillars had to eat that much more milkweed to have the same growth results as those caterpillars raised in August and the beginning of September.

Nevertheless, the release of this monarch, who Sue and I named Meadow, was a happy occasion, because despite all the other problems of other caterpillars not succeeding to become a monarch, Meadow proved to be a remarkably strong flyer.

Due to cold weather, we had to leave Meadow indoors for a few days. When the weather turned bright and warm, Meadow soaked in all the sun he could.

Monarch soaking up sun in flight crate
  As a consequence of being kept indoors, Meadow was more than anxious to be let out into the world and flew into Sue's hands. In brief, Meadow didn't need any encouragement to leave his crate.
Monarch ready to come out
  As soon as Meadow was clear of the crate, he immediately took off from Sue's hand.
Monarch takes off
  Meadow ascended in a vertical spiral.
Monarch ascends
  Meadow ascended about 50 feet upward before leveling off to fly into a nearby tree, no doubt to contemplate his expanded world.
Monarch away
  Both Sue and I wished Meadow good luck on his trip south!

Photo note: I took these photos with a Pentax K-3, plus Pentax 60-250mm lens, on October 7, 2020.

My 2019 monarch home page  ||  and Pennsylvania butterfly page

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