November begins many years without any monarchs still around Cape May Point; that's just about the time when they arrive en masse at the mountainous areas west of Mexico City where they'll spend the winter in a prolonged dormancy. October's last week was very quiet for monarchs. But the month's end, along with the first few days of November, brought mild weather to Cape May and we've seen a slight but noticeable increase in monarch numbers. I tagged 15 over the last two days. Can monarchs that are still in Cape May Point in early November possibly make it to Mexico? We really don't know, but many are in great shape and seem capable of making the journey, as long as they stay ahead of the freezing weather. So we go ahead and tag a few, hoping to someday get data returned about one of these late season butterflies.
|Late season monarch on zinnias in a Cape May Point garden.|
|Field Naturalist Lindsey Brendel and students from Teitelman Middle School.|
Thanks to many generous contributions to the Monarch Monitoring Project we've been able to extend Lindsey's work season until mid-November; otherwise we would not have had staff available to meet with the students this day. Lindsey is also working to organize all the data collected by MMP team members and by volunteer Monarch Ambassadors who made studies of monarchs in areas north of Cape May proper.
|All of the students were able to feel the strong grip of a monarch's feet.|
|American Lady butterflies can still be found in the gardens of Cape May Point.|
|The little skipper called Sachem is also still common at the Point.|