This week I was partnered with Fiona and Angela. We were assigned 199-229. At first I was a little worried about going down there as I was assigned the same transect last week and boy is it hot down there. Fortunately for me though we went on Saturday after it had rained and it wasn’t bad at all. Many of the milkweeds had died because heat and lack of good shade in this area and it’s worth noting that we didn’t see any signs of monarchs. Until recently this area was overgrown with grass and it’s likely that this in combination with the heat dissuaded any potential monarchs from laying eggs here.
A possible reason that some people could have seen 3o monarchs and others none is that some areas just have less monarchs and some people get assigned to these areas multiple times. Another possible reason is that some groups just don’t look as hard (you’d think that with the pairing system this wouldn’t really come up though so it is unclear exactly what is happening, possibly a combination of multiple factors). Anyway it was really great working with Angela and Fiona, even when there was no sign of a milkweed they still spent the time looking to try to locate a dead stem just to be sure.