As you may know, our Monarchs don't migrate to anywhere during Winter, rather they set themselves into a calmed state called diapause and roost together in clusters to wait it out until weather temperatures improve.
Not this Winter, it seems. I still have two Monarch chrysalis's, that the caterpillars created early in July, which are still quite green and showing no signs of a butterfly emerging.
Today we visited Rawene, a quite delightful town on the West Coast of the upper North Island.
In disbelief I ventured through the grass to be closer to the swanplants and there was more disbelief. There were caterpillars of several different sizes, including quite small ones that would have been perhaps a week old.
Wow, wow and wow. It's mid Winter here. I have never seen Monarch caterpillars growing like that in mid Winter, yet there they were.
Take a look.