Thursday, December 27, 2012

Corralitas Drive: Monarchs of Winter

Photo: Diane Edwardson, December 26, 2012.  Look closely, the Monarch Butterfly's (Danaus plexippus) tongue is reaching up and over its head, into one of the top flowers on the left .  (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, December 26, 2012.  I haven't seen Monarchs in a long time.  It seems like we used to see more 20 years ago.  Now they are rare visitors on their winter migration to Mexico.  Years ago, I seem to remember reading an old EIR, where it said the 5 Freeway corridor was along their primary migration route. My backyard is within 1000' of the 5 Freeway. (The Monarch was in my backyard, 6' from my back door.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, December 26, 2012.  UCI has a guide to Butterflies & Their Larval Food Plants by Peter J. Bryant,  if you want to know what to plant to attract specific species to your yard.  Bryant also posted a photo guide to  Orange County butterflies (which is the closest I've found to Los Angeles butterflies).