Monarch Migration

A Morning with Monarchs

Monarchs captured in early morning light at Goosewing Beach Preserve in Little Compton, RI.  They spent the cooler night of September clinging to this stem of goldenrod awaiting the rays of sun to launch them toward their migration destination.  © Jeanne Parente/TNC

These twin Monarchs conjure the image of stained-glass.  The rising sun will light the pathway for navigation and warm their muscles for flight.  © Jeanne Parente/TNC

Countless thousands of Monarchs passed through Goosewing Beach Preserve on their migration this year. After what seemed like fleeting moments to the photographer, capturing the wonderment, they dispersed into the southern sky. © Geoff Dennis

Conserved open spaces such as the meadows surrounding The Benjamin Family Environmental Center at Goosewing Beach Preserve provide small trees and plants for roosting in the evenings and flowering plants to fuel butterfly migration.  © Geoff Dennis

"Nectar corridors are a series of habitat patches containing plants that flower at the appropriate times during the spring and fall migrations"(  These islands of habitat are especially important in urban and agricultural communities. © Kate Pisano/TNC

This year's Monarch migration along the Atlantic coast was notably one of the larger migrations seen in recent years and may have been caused by multiple factors.  © Jeanne Parente/TNC

A dune's-eye view of Quicksand Pond and breachway.  Goosewing Beach Preserve consists of a unique coastal pond/barrier beach ecosystem that not only provides refuge for butterflies, but for countless migrating birds along the Atlantic coast. ©Jeanne Parente/TNC

Blue skies of September add more brilliance to the already vibrant colors of these Monarch butterflies and the 'end-of-summer' bloom of goldenrod.  © Jeanne Parente/TNC

Which butterflies are the Monarchs? They all are!  The brighter orange on top of the opened wing seems to say to the other butterflies "Here I am...don't land on me!".  The pale orange of the under-wing resembles dead leaves dangling on a branch . © Jeanne Parente/TNC

A female or a male?  This Monarch shows the 2 black oval spots on the hind wing (near abdomen) and thin black veins of a male. Females, in contrast, do not have these spots and have noticeably thicker veins.  © Jeanne Parente/TNC

Make time to visit one of The Nature Conservancy’s preserves in Rhode Island...or another conserved green space near you. Find a place to consciously seek out moments of reflection and discovery within the realm of nature that will enhance your sense of well-being and free yourself of everyday stressors.  © Jeanne Parente/TNC


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