This annual event at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge celebrates the migration of the Monarch butterfly as they make their 2,000 mile trip from the northern American boundary to the mountains of central Mexico.
October sunrise at Picnic Pond, St. Marks Refuge.
October sunrise over the Gulf with the St. Marks Refuge lighthouse in the distance.
Newly tagged monarch (blue dot identifies St. Marks) joins others on the saltbush plant.
Son Will and I headed east on the path past the lighthouse, these two monarchs were flying into a very brisk breeze.
These were closed up, facing the breeze and hanging on!
This monarch is a bit battered, but still strong enough to make the journey, truly remarkable creatures.
We have raised monarchs in our yard since Will was 5, it has been great fun to enjoy sharing them with him again!
We found numerous clusters of monarchs on the path past the lighthouse.
Son Will and I helped David Cook tag and release monarchs in the afternoon, the ones in this container had been collected in the early morning while it was cold so that they were easy to capture.
Francie Stoutamire Photography