Invasion of the Butterflies: 'They're Everywhere!'

Invasion of the Butterflies: 'They're Everywhere!'

Innisfil : Canada | May 11, 2012 at 6:44 AM PDT
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'Love is like a butterfly: It goes where it pleases and it pleases wherever it goes'. ~Author Unknown

Never has there been such a flutter over butterflies as that which is delighting folks all over Ontario, where millions of Admirals and other rare species are appearing in the droves. I noticed a pair dancing their spiral dance around me afew weeks ago, and was surprised to see that this rare breed was not alone, in fact I observed several more that day.

After a rainy colder week nothing much else seemed to appear, and I'd almost forgotten about the rare sightings that day, when suddenly last weekend on a sunny warm day these same brown and orange super fast flyers were zooming across in front of my car as I drove along the beautiful countryside...lots and lots of them!

According to The Windsor Star:

"The "butterfly highway" is seeing plenty of congestion this year, thanks in part to unusually warm spring weather south of the border.

“They’re everywhere. There’s millions of them,” Alan Wormington, a Leamington naturalist, said of the hordes of butterflies making the trek from Texas to Ontario.

Wormington said Tuesday he saw about 4,000 red admiral butterflies April 16 at the national park. In any other spring he’d see 10 or 20, sometimes none.

“I’m telling people this is a once-in-a-100-year event.”

Every spring butterflies come into Ontario in small numbers but this year a butterfly boom has millions of them heading north through the United States and up to Ottawa and North Bay, he said. Because Point Pelee juts out into Lake Erie, it is a great spot to see the migration but Wormington said this year you don’t have to travel far from home to notice the butterfly boom.

“We know the phenomenon is annual, just that it’s never in such massive proportions.”

Although the red admiral butterfly invasion is grabbing headlines in Ontario and the United States, there are a number of bonus butterflies we’re seeing here. People are probably noticing the red admirals with their distinctive bright red bands on dark wings the most but there are also lots of orange ones called question mark butterflies. There are American painted lady, common painted lady, mourning cloak and variegated fritillary butterflies too."

While evidence that this massive migration points to our unusually warm winter this year, there are cases popping up all over the planet, not only of migrations to unusual locations, but also of brand new species being discovered. Recently a new spider was discovered of all places, in an urban Alabama setting.

"Researchers at Auburn University say they've discovered a previously unknown trapdoor spider species in the heart of the city of Auburn, Ala.

The discovery in a long-urbanized area highlights how much remains to be revealed about life in our own world, Auburn biology Professor Jason Bond said.

"The discovery of a new species in a well-developed area like this further demonstrates the amount of biodiversity on our planet that remains unknown; we know so little about our home planet and the other organisms that inhabit it with us," Bond said."

Mother Earth never fails to amaze us with her incredible beauty and diversity, and sometimes even, it seems, with the miraculous appearance of species in unusual locations.

The butterfly invasion of Canada is one such miracle, at least in my eyes.

On a personal note I feel a very strong connection to butterflies, often finding these delicate winged creatures to be messengers that bring news of what is to come.

What is this peaceful invasion of the Admirals telling us?

Why to keep on believing in miracles, of course.

'What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.' ~Richard Bach

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Red Admiral Butterfly
Red Admirals are a fast flying species
MichelleDevlin is based in Barrie, Ontario, Canada, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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