Saturday, October 13, 2007

Migrating Monarch Butterflies, and Painting at the Pond

October 14, 2007
This original oil painting is titled “Palm at the Pond.” It is 10 x 8, oil on canvas panel, available for purchase on my website.

I painted this last fall at our pond, which is named “Lake Jean.” For true – here’s the sign!!

Now “lake” is a stretch, it is entirely a pond. At the time I was painting the palm tree, the monarch butterflies were migrating through this area. While painting, the butterflies started clumping in the mesquite tree overhead! I took a bunch of pictures. It was really a neat experience; they didn’t seem concerned about my presence at all.
I kept track of their migration dates for a number of years, and they came through this area on the average on October 11th, although shows the peak time for our latitude to be October 18th. I’m sure their research is more accurate than mine. So, my eyes are peeled for their arrival. Some years have been fantastic, with huge numbers of monarchs coming through. It is amazing to see them late in the evening making clumps in the trees. They are quite a sight when you can see clear to the horizon and watch them flying north to south. It truly is a delight to see, and a signal that fall is here. They travel from Canada to Mexico, with the adult lifespan of 4-5 weeks.
Generations make this journey to Mexico. They head north in the spring. has a great article on them, as well as

Until next time!


Genie said...

I was going to go out to Pinto Creek last night and look for them, but I was just too tired. Maybe tonight! I don't want to miss them this year. My batteries are charged and ready!

That is a very healthy looking palm! Looks huge! It's out at your place?

The Epiphany Artist said...

Wow! That butterfly picture is aw-some!

Jean Levert Hood said...

Genie, I'm ready for them too, and with this little cool snap we had this a.m., I'm hoping some might be coming down.
Yes, this palm is our pond. We have 2 down there that we planted, other than that, it's just the native trees around the water.
Terri I'm glad you checked out my blog. The monarchs are truly amazing. what a journey those delicate little things undertake! I wait every October for them!

Genie said...

I'll probably be going out every night to look for them. The grases are so high, I have to take Wes' truck I've never seen the farm overgrown, it's unreal.

Yes, I need to sneak up on a few more dillos with my camera READY. He was so cool!

Cynthia said...

It's amazing how different the landscape is across the US. Our local park planted a couple of palms (just for the growing season) this year and I had to scratch my head and wondered what they were thinking. Needless to say, the palms struggled all summer long.

You have really captured the essence of the palm - and how serendipitous the name of the pond is!

Love the butterfly photo too.

Genie said...

I don't know how to tag someone, but I'm supposed to tag you.

Jean Levert Hood said...

Cynthia, that is one thing that makes being an artist so fun - you can capture those differences so differently than photography!
Genie, that tag thing is way to complicated for me to figure out! :)