On our latest walkabout, we came across a very interesting find.
We found this lovely Pink Edged Sulphur butterfly.
We looked it up and found two clues that told us this little guy is not from around these parts.
First, Pink-Edged Sulpher caterpillars feed mostly on blueberries. Blueberries do not grow well in our area though.
We also found a map showing the range of Pink Edged Sulphers. Turns out that they are very common in Canada, and the northernmost part of the United States... FAR from Texas.
Our best guess is that this guy has been wintering here, or even farther south, and is slowly making his way north.
Butterflies only live for a few months at best though. So, our theory is that he was on his way north,to where blueberries grow. Perhaps he would have mated there, and eventually his mate's eggs would have hatched a new batch of Pink Edged Sulphers. Those babies would have their own children, then those babies would have children.
Our Pink Edged Sulpher's great great grand children would then head back this way next fall!
This was all very exciting to us because we had not thought about migration in this way before. The boys know that some species "go south" for the winter and then "go north" for the summer, but they had never really considered how our home, Texas, fit into that plan.
It seems that for the most part, Texas is either a winter destination or a stop along the journey for northern species.
There's also a really fabulous resource for learning about migration through ongoing experiments and observations at Journey North. We can't wait to learn all about the Journey North through their activities!
Nature— the sublime, the harsh, and the beautiful— offers something that the street or gated community or computer game cannot. Nature presents the young with something so much greater than they are; it offers an environment where they can easily contemplate infinity and eternity. —Richard Louv