Fall Colors of the Coastal Bend: Butterflies, Butterflies Everywhere!

While the rest of the country awaits the fall colors to emblazon the trees, we here in the Coastal Bend await the colors of another kind: the annual migration of butterflies. However, this year our skies have been completely dotted like a Seraut painting.

Our skies here in the Coastal Bend have been invaded by these flying flowers flitting and fluttering all over the place. There have been literally swarms of them for the last couple of weeks around the Coastal Bend. While in Beeville for The Texas Mile, last weekend, there were literally thousands of these fluttering jewels all flying all over the countryside. Unfortunately, many of these beauties lost their lives on the bumpers of the speeding vehicles and on the windshields of anyone’s car traveling on the roadways.

Poor mariposa
Poor mariposa

Additionally, all around Corpus Christi, swarms have been found speckling the skies. This year due to all the rain we have had this fall, the population has increased maybe several hundred-fold . The rains have given flowers a huge boost so the butterflies have had more food to make their journey to Mexico. Additionally, we have had a couple of “northers” which help sweep the mariposas down south of the border.

Monarchs on Salvia
Monarchs on a Salvia spike

According to www.learner.org , “The first monarchs usually arrive at their winter home in Mexico each fall by the first of November. Two events are taking place in Mexico when the monarchs appear. One is a seasonal event and the other a cultural event and people connect the arrival of the monarchs with these events:”

Seasonal Event
Monarchs and Corn   Harvest
“People in the region have noticed the arrival of monarchs since pre-Hispanic   times. In the language of the native Purépecha Indians, the monarch   butterfly is called the harvester butterfly,   because monarchs appear when it’s time to harvest the corn. “


Cultural Event
Monarchs and the   Day of the Dead
“The Mexican holiday Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) also occurs   when the monarchs appear. According to traditional belief, the monarchs are   the souls of ancestors who are returning to Earth for their annual visit.”

In the Coastal Bend, Corpus Christi have long been known as the “Birdiest City” of America because of the migrations into Mexico; however, maybe we should also consider the title of “Butterfly-est City” .  Usually we have the Monarch migration during September into October, but other species of butterflies move through this area way into November.

Boldly bright orange butterfly

So, yep, we here in the Coastal Bend may have a chinaberry tree or two that turns into the fiery colors of fall, which is about it. However, we can look to the skies and enjoy the live colors making their journey to the warm climate in Mexico.


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