Tuesday afternoon I left West Virginia, going to Virginia to pick up my traveling companions Bill and Susie Fry. The skies were a beautiful, deep blue. I drove through the woods off of the Knobs in shower of falling leaves. The fall colors have peaked and many trees were bare. As I passed a field full of dried milkweed, fluff and seed danced through the air crossing the road. West Virginia is no longer monarch territory for this year. We’ve had a couple of frosts after a dry spell that did in most of the milkweed. Monday I did find a patch of green, still healthy-looking milkweed persisting in a damp, sheltered spot, but not many flowers are left for butterflies to nectar on. Most of our monarch butterflies have left for more suitable territory. I am carrying with me 3 chrysalides from late season monarch caterpillars that had I had found as eggs in at field at Jay Cooper’s place on the Knobs in late September.
Yesterday we got up early and drove south. We made good time on what we hope to be one of our longest days of just straight driving, arriving in Montgomery, Alabama around 5 pm. There is still green foliage down here! While we were out to dinner with Brian and Buttons King, one of the monarchs that are travelling with us emerged from its chrysalis. Today we will travel to Laurel, Mississippi and spend the night with Carole Jordan who tells me she is still seeing monarchs at her place.
Internet connection for my laptop has been frustrating…I am writing from Brian’s computer in the middle of the night. I am sharing a room with the computer. It wakes up and lights up the room every 15 or 20 minutes…I figured that it is telling me that I needed to say something! We plan to stop at a Starbucks today and I may be able to download some background information on monarchs and photos that I had hoped to share.