Monarch butterflies that you see right now are the last generation of the year. This is the generation that will live up to 9 months! (rather than 2-4 weeks) and migrate 2000+ miles to overwinter in a tiny forest area in Mexico that they have never been to before.
Here is a great video that shows their lifecycle:
This past spring, when the Monarchs were migrating north from Mexico, they found terrible drought conditions in Texas. Texas is a critical stop for the Monarchs in this relay of life. Finding little by way of nectar and host plants, the Monarchs pushed further north and we saw this tired generation showing up in gardens here in April and May to lay their eggs and give their last hurrah.
Throughout the summer and now in early fall, reports of Monarchs have been low. When this last generation of the year heads to Mexico, Monarch Watch will do a count to see what the population looks like.
If you would like to help Monarchs, you can plant a Monarch Waystation this fall. Contact us and we’ll send you a seed kit while supplies last. More information about monarch waystations can be found here. Once you have your waystation planted, be sure to register it with Monarch Watch and get involved with the community!