by Bud Ward
The late arrival of a vast swarm of Monarch butterflies brought beauty during the first week of November to still-blooming Northern Neck “Miss Bessie” native willow leaf aster plants.
But there’s a mixed message in that joyous, though fleeting, beauty.
Unusual October warmth across much of the Atlantic Seaboard and as far north as Ontario, Canada, led many monarchs to delay their annual 1,500-mile migration south to a mountainous part of central Mexico. It’s there that some 98% of North America’s monarchs go to over-winter, often returning to the same area and even to the same individual trees.