I planted milkweed this spring for the Monarch butterflies, to see if it would work as fuel for their long flight to the mountains in Mexico. Sure enough, they've been lined up this week, waiting their turn to get whatever it is they get from the plant.
I have seen them flying south before a cold front at the farm. Legions of Monarchs from high specks in the sky to ground level. It was beautiful.
It is hard to fathom how they know where to go, especially since they weren't born in Mexico, have no weathermen to warn of an impending cold front and their return is tenuous at best as they end up on many windshields, etc.
The winds were fierce this week and with those thin wings acting as sails, they often had to fly past the milkweed and come back to them with the wind at their backs. I don't know how they battled those winds.
Tulsa just recently built butterfly way stations on an piece of land. Patches of wildflowers and milkweed to rest and feast upon before their long flight home. Deforestation and environmental practices have depleted their numbers. I'm going to plant more milkweed next year.