I haven't heard from Jean SmilingCoyote in years. But I remembered her last week.
The 3-year-old was chasing butterflies in my wife's sun garden, every year becoming more of a butterfly garden. And I grabbed the camera when a clot of butterflies, monarches I first assumed, landed on my wife's sedums.
Sharp readers have already figured out those aren't monarchs, but painted ladies.
And so they are.
Fortunately, I figured that out on my own. They looked too small for monarchs.
And I remembered Jean chiding me about five years ago when a reader wrote about monarchs about two weeks after they had left the area. She pointed out the butterflies in question were more likely painted ladies.
Just as these were.
That set me off on a quest to find a monarch migration map. I did at Monarch Watch.
It's one of those places where you can lose yourself in monarch information.