We are officially in the Texas Flyway (the path in Texas through which the stately Monarch butterfly makes its way to Mexico where it hibernates for the winter). Did you know that Monarchs migrate and hibernate? Amazing stuff!
Today we counted 54 Monarchs – ‘King of the Butterflies’ – around town when we made our way to art class. The cold front had them all hiding yesterday. The day before we saw only five and I was beginning to think that most of them were already close to the Mexico border. I was happy to see some of them today, but I sure hope they get to Mexico in time to beat the cold weather. They are so beautiful. Friday we counted 87 or so while we ran our errands for the culture fair. Thursday we counted 49 just in our neighborhood alone! They were flying high in the blue sky… one by one, drifting along with the breeze, orange wings glowing in the late afternoon sun.
You can’t really tell from our pictures (silly butterflies just wouldn’t be still… and they were so high up that it made taking photos really difficult!):
Tomorrow we will probably make a butterfly to send to a student in Mexico. They celebrate the return of the Monarch every year there where the butterflies overwinter. The deadline for sending a hand-made butterfly to Mexico with Journey North has past, but I’m sure I can find a friend who knows someone in Mexico that needs some encouragement. Journey North has an amazing program that does this each year – all while teaching kids about our friends in Canada and Mexico. The Monarchs won’t get stopped at the border and asked for their passport. They are truly free. Be sure to bookmark Journey North next year and participate in the Monarch migration tracking and fun. You can also help them track the journey NORTH in Spring!
We have enjoyed our studies about butterflies and moths immensely. Not long ago, we caught a leopard moth caterpillar and are planning to raise it until next spring. We have been feeding the little guy desert willow and chaste tree leaves, but today (after our cold front that got into the 40’s yesterday), he is sleeping. He hardly ate a thing all day. Here’s a picture of our prickly friend:
A friend of ours brought us some web worms also. We played with them and set them free on a pecan tree. I need to take the kids out to go check on our wormies tomorrow. We didn’t get a chance to go out today for a walk because we were busy with art class and school.
I hope you are enjoying the critters in your area. We love bugs in the ‘Bee’ family. In case you wondered… that is. We have a relative that is an entomologist. Maybe one day we can go see their ‘collection’ of interesting little creatures. I feel a field trip coming on!
Buzz Words: Homeschooling, Moth, Butterfly, Nature, Photos, Insects, Homeschool, Monarch, Caterpillars, Bugs, Teaching, Texas, Life, Kids, Parenting, Canada, Fall, Migration, Mexico, Education, Science, Observation