The arrival of these beautiful butterflies will forever mean fall to me. As children, my sister and I would take a quilt to the roof of the house for an afternoon. We'd lie on our backs beneath the lazy autumn sun and then we'd count, as cloud after cloud of hundreds of Monarchs passed overhead.
I don't see clouds of them anymore, but their arrival in small groups of five and ten is always magically timed to the blooming of the sedum and asters in my garden. In an uncertain world, the faithful return of these beauties is comforting.
Fall will also bring us huge zebra swallowtails and golden sulphurs, plus these tiny little purple skippers that perfectly match the New England asters. You? Do you have Monarchs where you live?