Among our small successes during this period of emergence from a really bad freeze last December is the coming out of the "Blue Mist" plant. This is a low growing weedy, viney, and tangling plant that produces a small, pin-cushion like blue flower which is irresistible to Monarch Butterflies. Just off the south end of the corridor we have a patch....about 30 square feet..... of very dense Blue Mist in full bloom at this time. Although impressive and rewarding, I was somewhat grumpy about the fact that the Monarchs had not seen fit to advantage themselves of our efforts to accommodate them.
Finally, about a week ago, three Monarchs came at around 10:00 am to check out the patch. Then the next day there were six or seven and so forth, until finally, on the morning before my return to Texas we had a pretty fair convention going on....perhaps as many as 500 of the migratory insects. These particular ones are probably the first generation returning batch coming up from Michoacan where their parents spent the Winter.
For a while I was thinking that there would be few, if any, because Angangeo, Michoacan and all the area around was hit by huge rains and floods this past Winter and the fear was, as always, that weather issues would somehow have disastrous effect upon the Monarchs. About five years ago the problem was a series of heavy snows in Michoacan. Each time there is any such event, the Envirotrons swagger out to say that George Bush has finally gotten his wish to destroy all living things, especially (...enter species of animal or plant....) and we shall no longer have any more Monarch Butterflies due to American Greed and Consumption which causes (...enter one or more of the following as appropriate....Global Warming....New Ice Age...China Syndrome....Ozone Hole Destruction....Nuclear Winter....Planet Exhaustion....Spring Creep.....Oceanic Coastal Inundation....or, of course, my favourite..... All of the Above).
The birds are doing well and there have been a few that could not be identified as of yet....probably accidental or itinerant invaders. I shall do a bit of research to figure out who they are and report such information later.
We have had those joyous 50 degree mornings followed by 90 degree afternoons followed by pleasantly cool evenings that make our location so bracing. Our clients were astounded at the fact that, with the temperature changes and the adobe construction, that they really didn't have to use the air-conditioner in their room.
The Old Gringo