On a morning walk this week I had to do a double take when the narrow path meandered its way to canopy of total green. The stubborn maples sheltered in a low area from the cold winds still had their green leaves with all their glory of mid-summer. It truly was a surreal moment for late November when the temperatures were in the mid 20’s. So why are the leaves still on the trees so late in the autumn season. September and October were the 3rd warmest months on record with September 4 degrees normal above and October 7 degrees above normal. As we transitioned into November with finally more fall like autumn conditions the chlorophyll which breaks down the green color on trees was lagging behind. So keep your rakes within reach the next couple of weeks.
I was startled to see a Monarch butterfly pictured above last weekend at the West Hartford Reservoir hiking trails with my daughters German Shepherd. Through my entire hike I was thinking that it did not seem right for Monarchs to be here so late in the year, so later in the day I researched their migration habits and in deed something was very wrong. By early November these grand insects should have completed their migratory journey to Mexico. After investigating the lapse of many Monarchs heading south is that record warmth Autumn weather kept vegetation plentiful for them survive and a unusual strong southerly jet stream wind made their voyage almost impossible. Hopefully it will not be too late for a some of the strong to defy the odds and finally find their way home. Can you image this beautiful delicate looking insect flying 2000 miles to finally end a lifecycle. Incredible.