cape may garden journal

Migrating Monarchs and Friends

Posted 10/07/11

Cape May, NJ — Every fall in Cape May, there's a time when butterflies seem to fall out of the sky like confetti. Now's that time.

In our garden, any flowers with fresh nectar are covered with hungry Monarchs and Buckeyes and Swallowtails, gulping down their last meals before heading south.

October seems a little late for most perennial flowers, but it's the height of the aster season.

Buckeyes, those brown and orange jewel-like creatures, and pale yellow sulphurs chow down on any aster in sight.

The Monarchs meanwhile gang up on over the hill zinnias, going for the last dregs of nectar.


While some Monarchs stayed glued to the pink zinnias, another batch of butterflies is hanging on tight to the blooms of the Tropical Milkweed.

And everyone, Swallowtails included, is taking turns working over the purple Verbena bonariensis.

Our garden has become a fall cafeteria, catering to those tiny winged creatures who have thousands of miles to go before they sleep.

They're like flying flowers, adding one last burst of life to a fading autumn landscape.

The least we can do is give them a good meal or two before they go. .


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