Visitors to Canada can catch an amazing sight this fall, as thousands of butterflies rest here on their migration South. These are monarch butterflies, their distinctive black and orange coloring making them one of the most recognizable species of butterfly - and a beautiful one. The butterflies can be found throughout the US and Southern Canada during the summer, where individual butterflies make a beautiful sight in the sunshine.
However, these butterflies are also known for having one of the longest migrations in the world - from Southern Canada all the way to Mexico. The migration happens every fall, and tourists flock to resting points to watch the butterflies rest and cluster on their long journey south. Right now, one of the best spots to watch is in Ontario, where thousands of butterflies can be spotted in a stunning display.
The butterflies are clustering in Point Pelee National Park, the southernmost point of Canada, on the shores of Lake Erie. The Nature Sanctuary is the perfect place for the butterflies to rest, with plenty of trees that are covered in orange and black wings as the insects collect their strength here for the long trip across the lake. The reason that Point Pelee experiences these clusters is because it allows the butterflies to make the shortest journey across the water, thanks to a small chain of islands nearby.
The butterflies are expected to cluster at Point Pelee through October, although there are certainly better times to visit in order to see this natural phenomenon at its best. As the butterflies are waiting here for optimal conditions to cross the lake, the largest clusters will appear when conditions are not ideal for the crossing - forcing the winged insects to stay put. That includes windy days, with early morning and sunset being peak times. The worst time to attempt to see the monarchs would be the middle of a hot, sunny day.
Thankfully, for those who can't get to Point Pelee this fall, this is an annual event - so there's plenty of time to book a trip for a later year! Andrew Laforet, the interpretation coordinator for Point Pelee National Park has even described an upward trend in the migration, although their count of numbers is not exact, so waiting for later years may mean seeing even more of these beautiful little creatures in one stunning place.
Next: 10 Reasons Canada's National Parks Are Better Than America's (10 Reasons The USA Is Number One)