Migrating Monarch Butterflies

During a bike ride today, I saw many Monarch butterflies flying in the air–like a cloud, I thought. Awestruck, I stopped and watched and then noticed that some were heading for a row of trees, including two pitch pine, growing on the shore of Barnegat Bay. Walking closer, I saw a large group* of Monarchs resting, i.e. with their wings closed thus the tan color. Others, as you can see in the picture, had their wings open. Mid-September is when the Monarchs migrate along the Atlantic coast past the section of the Jersey Shore where I’ve been for a week working on a book. They come through on a north or northwest wind (and today there was a strong northwest wind) on their way to the Sierra Madre mountains in Mexico. I took this photograph at 6:45 p.m. I’ll go back tomorrow morning and see what’s up.
*Not knowing what to call a group of Monarch butterflies, I did a search and it appears that a group of butterflies is called a Kaleidoscope, also a swarm and rabble. I discovered that the American Butterfly Assocation is holding a contest to select a name for a group of butterflies. Think I’ll do some more research on this issue, but, for now, back to my book project.

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