Fall migration is underway across the Jocassee Gorges and we are ready. We have our Monarch wings! Every fall, the JLT guides and guests count Monarchs as they make their amazing 3000 mile journey to reach the overwintering grounds in Mexico. A combination of decreasing daylight and lack of nectar triggers their journey. Air currents and thermals funnel the Monarchs together during the day. Come night, they roost in large groups, with thousands clustering on the trees for the night. Monarchs typically weigh less than a half a gram and have a wingspan of about 4 inches, yet they can travel 100 miles or more in a day in their 3,000-mile migration south. Every time we see a Monarch making this incredible feat, we cheer, clap, and wish them well.

With each set of data we collect, we are committed to uploading our sightings on www.journeynorth.org. This data is important to researchers to better understand the Monarch’s conservation needs. ~Kerry McKenzie, JLT guide and original Jocassee Wild Child