Whitesburg KY

Monarch butterflies stop in Letcher



Letcher County is lucky to have a large number of really good photographers who love capturing shots that show the rare beauty of a small area formed by the headwaters of the Cumberland, Big Sandy and Kentucky rivers. One such photographer is Jennifer Honeycutt of Whitesburg, who spotted this monarch butterfly while crossing Pine Mountain on Monday. We’ll let her tell the story behind the picture: “I was driving across Pine Mountain yesterday (October 23) and saw something pretty neat. Monarch butterflies migrate to Mexico each fall and that’s what was happening yesterday! Letcher County was host to one of the world’s epic migrations. They were flying down the spine of Pine Mountain on their way south. Along the way they stopped to rest and feed. The overlooks on Pine Mountain have fall asters and late goldenrod blooming near the guardrail, and the butterflies were stopping to feed on the flowers. Their population is declining sharply due to a number of factors, including the lack of native wildflowers that provide food for the caterpillars and the adults as they migrate. Monarchs lay their eggs on milkweed, and the late season asters and goldenrod that are usually mowed or sprayed are critical food sources for the adults as they journey to their winter range in Mexico.” (Photo by Jennifer Honeycutt)

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