Saturday, September 30, 2006

Monarch(y) in the USA

Danaus plexippus (which, literally, translated in Greek means 'sleepy transformation').
September 27, 2006

Ahhh, the lovely Danaus plexippus. I don't know what it's like in your neck of the woods, but here, the monarchs are wide awake and have transformed the woods and gardens of the Rock into a magical place.

"Adult Monarchs possess two pair of brilliant orange-reddish wings, featuring black veins and white spots along the edges. Their wingspan is about four inches, and they weigh less than half an ounce. Males, who possess distinguishing black dot (stigmata) along the veins of their wings, are slightly bigger than the females.

Each adult butterfly lives only about four to five weeks. But one of the many wonders of the Monarchs is the annual creation of a unique "Methuselah generation." As autumn approaches in their sites of migratory origin, a very special generation of butterflies is born. Unlike their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great-grandparents -- all of whom had ephemeral lives measured only in weeks -- these migratory butterflies survive seven or eight months. In human terms, given our average life span of 75 years, this would be like having children who lived to be 525 years old!

This generation performs the incredible feat of flying from Canada and the United States to the center of Mexico -- after which they begin the northward journey again. Once they reach the United States, a kind of relay race begins: their short-lived offspring, with only four or five weeks to live, continue making the trek northward over several generations."

Enjoy 'em why you got 'em, for these beauties are on their way to a sweet little vacation spot down south.

And, if you dig the bugs, you have to get up to Montreal and check into the Insectarium. You will not be disappointed.

Booth and the Bad Angel: Butterfly Dreams (Buy It!)

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