What I Saw When I Ran Wednesdays

For those of you who read food blogs, you will often see a “What I Ate Wednesday” post. Same idea here, except it will be what I saw when I ran on Wednesdays.  So take a peek at what my orbs observed and then add your own experience!

Dear Bosses,

I tried really, really hard not to be late for work today. I figured I’d bang out a quick 4-miler then get myself to work on time, no problemo.  The plan was going swimmingly until about 2 steps into the run when it was clear that all the monarchs that have been around for the past few days still had not migrated outta here (thank you south winds!). What’s that? You never heard of monarch migration? Well, that just will not do! Ok, here is the short story – in September and October of each year, Cape May is lousy with monarchs – literally dripping off the trees and filling the sky with their orange glow. They are coming from as far as Canada and are on their way to the oyamel fir forests of Mexico, where they will overwinter. What’s that?…yup, without any help! No airplane, no hitchhiking, just a very clever exploitation of weather fronts and north winds.  They have never been to the wintering grounds they are traveling to and so have no memory of how to get there. In fact,they are 4-5 generations removed from the relatives who went the year before.  Millions of monarchs from all over the continent wind up in the very same fir forests, every.single.year. How? Some amazing combination of celestial cues, the earth’s magnetic force and magic, I reckon.

There are certain days in Cape May when this magic, in the form of an unassuming flying insect, is in the air. Everywhere you go, there are monarchs – flying above, nectaring at eye level, resting below. So my good intentions of a quickie 4-miler flew out the window and instead I forced myself home after an hour, having zero interest in going back. Here, let me show you what it was like (and I recommend clicking on them for full effect):

Monarchs were enjoying sipping on gin and juice, er, nectar, at the state park this AM!

After roosting in clusters the night before (they are “cold-blooded” and can’t function well in temps below 55dF) many spent the morning basking in the warm light of day.

The color of the newly emerged adults is just out of this world! The most striking orange you can imagine.

Look close and see them all hanging off the branch!

Yup, you guessed it from my stellar photography skills – those black dots are all monarchs, swirling and delighting in the September day (or more likely, cursing the south wind. Then again, what’s so bad about another day in Cape May?)

And now that you know, I bet you will be late for work too 🙂

Want to learn more? Come to the Cape May Point State park every Wed, Fri, Sat and Sun at 2pm between now and October 14th for a free tagging  demo and to learn more about the research project down here!

Or click here:

Cape May Monitoring Project

Monarch Watch

Journey North

What did you see on your run today?

Have you ever witnessed the monarch migration?


Filed under What I Saw When I Ran Wednesdays

4 responses to “What I Saw When I Ran Wednesdays

  1. bean

    Really enjoy reading your blogs Chris ~ THanks for sharing lady 🙂

  2. Linda Kisiel

    Love those butterflies. I only saw lightning and rain today and came back and got on the treadmill. GRRR!! It looks like you had more fun.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s