Over the weekend, September 17, a spectacular natural phenomenon took over our Colorado skies: The Great Butterfly Migration!

The peak of the annual migration of painted lady butterflies took over the Front Range this past weekend. The painted lady butterflies migrate over 9,000 miles each year from California, or more northern states, to Mexico.

butterfly

Painted ladies migrate annually. During this time, thousands of painted lady butterflies flutter down to Mexico to stay in the climate they prefer. Also, according to the brilliant scientific minds at Colorado State University, the size of the migration also depends on how rainy the springs were. In more rainy pre-seasons, there could be thousands and thousands of butterflies spanning generations taking to the skies.

This little fact took me by surprise. When it comes to bugs and their lifespans, I always assumed they were all like flies, about a 24-hour life span. To learn that these butterflies have generations that are known to migrate really surprised me -- and gave me a little respect for the resiliency of the mighty butterfly.

Over the weekend, if you paid close attention, you could have seen those thousands of painted ladies fluttering through Colorado. While painted ladies (often confused for monarchs) are pretty common all over North America, you may have seen a little more than usual this weekend!

Did you happen to catch any beautiful painted ladies this weekend? We would love to see and share your photos on OCN! Share them with us: submit.ourcommunitynow.com.

Featured image courtesy of Piquenewsmagazine.com

How to respect Colorado’s wildlife ...