The Migratory Monarch by KatMagic Photography

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Featured in: Bugs and Animals on Flowers in Macro (Oct., 2011)

These super vibrant migration-bound Monarch butterflies were busy enjoying the New England Asters in Toronto’s High Park last week… the migratory journey of the Monarch butterfly being one of the most fascinating of nature’s mysteries. Waves of Monarchs head southward from Ontario in the autumn months to a previously unknown destination; however, in 1975, Dr. Fred Urquhart of the University of Toronto, through wing-tagging of our Monarchs, was led to the evergreen forests of south-central Mexico and to the Monarchs he and his team had tagged.

Tens of millions of these Monarchs arrive at their winter homes in Mexico every autumn. Given the cold temperatures, the monarchs become dormant and survive via their previously stored energy not becoming active again until February of the following year – when the drive to reproduce and begin their migration journey, yet again, carries them northward. During this 3,000 kilometer journey, eggs are laid on new milkweed and the adult dies shortly thereafter. Amazingly, it is the generation that is produced between Mexico and Ontario that return to Ontario in vast numbers in the early summer.

The ensuing summer months in Ontario will result in two or three generations of Monarchs with the life cycle from egg to adult taking just 30 to 45 days. The fascinating aspect is that the generations that emerge in the late summer and early autumn weeks are miraculously triggered to become migratory… and it all starts all over again.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE © KatMagic Photography 2011
This artist’s work does not belong to the public domain.
© All rights reserved / © Tous droits réservés

Artist Copyright – All images within this gallery are protected under Canadian copyright laws and international conventions. No portion of this artist’s work may be downloaded, reproduced, published, copied, manipulated, linked or transferred electronically or used in any way without the artist’s written permission.

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© KatMagic Photography 2012
This artist’s work does not belong to the public domain.
© All rights reserved / © Tous droits réservés

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  • KatMagic Photography
    KatMagic Photo...over 3 years ago

  • kathy s gillentine
    kathy s gillen...over 3 years ago

    beautiful capture

  • Mike Oxley
    Mike Oxleyover 3 years ago

    What a beautiful image, Kat. Such a lovely colour contrast against the asters. And a great read, too. They certainly are an amazing butterfly, aren’t they?

  • Hi Mike and thanks so much.

    – KatMagic Photography

  • Eros Fiacconi (Sooboy)
    Eros Fiacconi ...over 3 years ago

    Beautiful capture. I also like your accompanying story. Been out the past few weekends and I simply haven’t had any luck in finding them this year. Glad somebody has, Eros

  • Thanks for stopping by… there are so many of them in Toronto right now….

    – KatMagic Photography

  • Julie  White
    Julie Whiteover 3 years ago

    Superb capture.

  • William Brennan
    William Brennanover 3 years ago

    Another fantastic shot Kat! Monarchs are my favorite. Well done. =)

  • Thank you… I like taking photos of them as they are so vibrant and lovely but if I posted all I took … well, let’s just say I wouldn’t do that… thank you once again so much.

    – KatMagic Photography

  • Celeste Mookherjee
    Celeste Mookhe...over 3 years ago

    I love the contrast against purple in this graceful composition! The story is fascinating.

  • Hi Celeste, thanks for the nice words…!

    – KatMagic Photography

  • Babcia
    Babciaover 3 years ago

    Beautiful macro!

  • Larry Trupp
    Larry Truppover 3 years ago

    Wonderful capture…love the colorful detail Kat

  • Thanks, Larry.. your personal touch is always so nice…

    – KatMagic Photography

  • Rocksygal52
    Rocksygal52over 3 years ago

    beautiful Kat.

    Cheers jude

  • Thanks, Jude… appreciate your visit!

    – KatMagic Photography

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