The Annual Butterfly Migrations Throughout the Texas Hill Country Offer Great Photo Ops.


SPRING:

In March, the bees and butterflies love the delicate pink peach blooms. But the blooms are short lived, and may only last about 1-2 weeks. Heavy spring rains and wind can easily knock the blooms down, but tiny peach buds will soon grow in their place, along with new, fresh, green leaves.

FALL:

For the Fall Migration, late September & early October are peak months to be on the lookout for these delicate beauties throughout central Texas.

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Did you know?  
Some Monarchs start their fall migration journey near the Canadian Border.  They often ride a cold front with speeds of 10 to 30 mph, and can travel up to 80 miles a day.
They winter in Mexico, and nearing the end of their life cycle, they start flying back north to Texas in the spring to breed and lay eggs.  The next generations will continue their journey north, spending summer in the northern US or near the Canada Border.  The fourth generation will fly back south to migrate in Mexico.

Texas Native Milkweed (Asclepias) plants are essential for the Monarch butterfly survival.  It is well documented that the Monarchs not only specifically use Milkweed plants for nectar, but also for spring time egg laying and food for young caterpillars.   To help the Monarchs and other species, simply plant native milkweed and other native plants in yards, flowerbeds, and on your ranch.   Make sure its native.  Other types of milkweed could actually cause harm, according to researchers.   Monarch populations have been on a decline, so please consider planting accordingly.  The butterflies need all the help they can get.
Visit MonarchWatch.org for more info, or Texas Parks & Wildlife.

Fortunately, my family ranch near Fredericksburg Texas is a haven for the Monarchs and other butterflies.   We have an area that has always been well-covered in native Milkweed and other native plants.  Its a great stopping place for Monarchs.  I love walking down there to try and grab a few photos in the evening light as they quickly flutter from bloom to bloom.

Being completely surrounded by nature is so peaceful.

Right now its August, and we’ve been hitting 100+ degrees for many days.  I can’t wait for the cooler fall temps and this year’s crop of traveling butterflies!

Other Butterflies:

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Queen Butterflies are similar to the Monarchs.

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Our ranch has some really thick woods, so I always worry about snakes and other creepy critters too.  This evening, I heard a rustling in some tall grass a few feet from me.  As my heart skipped a beat or two, this guy popped out…

I swear he looks like he’s smiling a little!
Glad I had my camera ready.  He only hung around for a few seconds, then ran into the thick patch of milkweed and completely disappeared.

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Photos taken in Fredericksburg Texas

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I stayed down at the creek until the last bit of light peaked through the western sky. It was another pretty Texas golden sunset.  
Time to head home.

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