Gregg Lee

Joined: Jul 08, 2015 Last Active: Aug 29, 2021 iNaturalist

Texas Master Naturalist for more than 10 years. Started restoring our 115 acres in south corner of Somervell County to natural habitat before that. My wife and I live on the property.

I am retired from Texas Instruments. My undergrad degree is in Physics. Got an MBA later.

My primary involvement with iNaturalist so far is the Texas Milkweeds and Monarchs project:

I joined this project to add milkweed observations in my area. Then recruited to curate on the project. A. asperula and A. viridis are the only common species here, though others around occasionally. A. asperula grows everywhere except wet soils, and is beyond abundant during Monarch spring migration. Certainly over 100,00 plants every year. A. viridis grows along creeks and other moister areas.

My location:
Only asperula is present here for most of spring monarch migration, April 1 - May 15 (though earliest Generation 0 recorded is March 14 and latest fresh Gen 1 recorded is Jun 4). A. viridis emerges in numbers only in May. So in this area, for Monarchs, it's all about asperula. There is always far more asperula than Monarchs need, so egg and larva "density" is always low. Monarchs come then leave before Queens become very numerous.

Monarch larvae also often appear during fall migration, mostly on A. viridis. Most A asperula go dormant by mid-June and may or may not reappear during the fall growing season, dependent on weather, while viridis remains in a few areas although the summer and fall. In some years larvae are quite crowded in the fall, because asperula are few and viridis are more restricted in area is areas of higher soil moisture. In the fall, Monarch larvae are typically outnumbered by Queen larvae. They are often together. (But current academic position is that fall Monarch breeding doesn't contribute materially to population anyway.)

Fall wildflowers are abundant, especially tall Liatris species. Peak fall migration is sometime in the first half of October. Usually we see the greatest numbers when they are feeding on Liatris, remaining for hours or sometimes days if the wind is from the south. Large overnight roosts occur only when temperatures are cool. More often Monarchs just roost individually on trees and shrubs near where they are feeding, or occasionally remain on the Liatris.

gregglee is not following anyone.