The point of planting butterfly bush is to attract, well, butterflies. Apparently this has been a good year for butterflies (gee, they need water. Who would have guessed?) both local and imported. In this case, the first of the monarch migration appeared Monday, October 12. A massive cold front swept down the front of the Rockies on Thursday-Friday, chasing the butterflies south. As a result, the entire week before it seemed like we had a monarch invasion.
Over the years, a number of hummingbird and butterfly favored plants have managed to survive around Redquarters, probably because my parents gave up on all non-native or non-desert plants except roses. So there are Buddleia tucked here and there, and an enormous yellow specimen in the front yard.
The Buddleia is . . . rather popular with monarchs. So popular that last week, on Wednesday and early Thursday, it looked as if the swarms were going to uproot the whole bush and carry it off. Butterfly take-out, as it were. It’s been years since I recall seeing so many monarchs. But then, it’s been a very good year for butterflies (and dragonflies, and mosquitoes, and gnats, and silverfish, and crickets, and . . .) On Saturday, once it warmed up into the 60s, I counted no less than ten monarchs that flushed when I watered the Buddleia.
If I pull up to Redquarters some afternoon this week and find an enormous hole where the Buddleia used to be, well, I’ll know who took it and which direction it went – south.