Another migratory creature I observed in large number for the first time was the dragonfly. Nobody was counting them, but they easily showed in our binoculars. I guess there were hundreds in the air at any one time, all zooming south over the ridge. I need to do some reading on them.
I double-checked my book, and the peak day for the monarch migration over the southernHaywood Gap features a Mountains to the Sea Trail crossing and a little parking area in gravel. The best viewpoint for the monarchs is from the guard rail across from the parking area. A long band of aster and goldenrod grows just there along the road.
Blue Ridge Parkway
last year was October 13th. One observer
told me personally she estimated as many as 3,600 butterflies per hour passing
overhead at Haywood Gap, which is just parkway north of the Caney Fork
Overlook. I will do my best to witness
that spectacle this year. It has to be
incredible. I hope to catch some video.
My monarch migration guide is available for sale in several locations along the southern Parkway, including the
Center, the Folk
the , the Pisgah Inn
Gift Shop, and the Pisgah Inn Country Store.
I have updated it for this fall. Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor
About the photographs: I take a lot of photos of monarchs, so many it’s hard to sort through them and pick out the best. The ones I select for publication are often either just the most beautiful or instructive I can produce, or else they show some different perspective or detail. For instance, the first one is both backlit by sunshine and frontlit by my flash. The second photo shows the male gland (near the end of the abdomen) to be a slit or narrow oval, rather than the usual black dot. I just like the color of the third one, which is from 2018.