Looking for Monarchs

Earlier this month,  one could catch not a few souls out at the Leslie Spit in Toronto Harbor  looking for Monarchs …. butterflies, that is. They make the annual  migration to Mexico starting just about at the Fall equinox.  Here are some of my fellow Monarch seekers:

We came equipped with curiosity, cameras, hopes, and even high-powered binoculars. The Spit is long and finger-like so it also helps to come by bike. And the day was like the summer we missed – sunny and down-right warm. But of course the lakeshore breezes kept everyone nicely cooled as we searched vigilantly for our flutterby voyageurs.

For some reason, the royal flubberties were not to be found in the advertised great hoards at the lower reaches of the Spit; but there were plenty of distractions:

I must admit – someone got distracted by all the fauna and found art lying about on the Spit.


As you can see the Spit is constructed from a lot of the reclaimed material from the building boom in Toronto during the 1980’s and 1990’s. I hate to think but I may have been walking on the remains of my favorite Toronto Dominion Bank building branch which was replaced by the heartless Black Girders of TO Dominion Center[ yet just across the street CIBC managed to save its old headquarters building on King Street].

Meanwhile on the Sacred Spit I had met many fellow Monarch seekers – and the general gist of the conversations was that they a)either enjoyed the day or b)did not enjoy the day because of the surplus of the following:

and also the  quite apparent deficit of the Monarchs which we had been promised from 680 Radio, the Star, and array of other usual suspects. So despite being armed with cameras, binoculars, and other Monarch detecting devices  … well NOBODY had seen any Monarchs. Okay one naturalist buff said look in the trees and insisted there were many there.

But having arrived at the end of the Spit without any Royals to Report. I reluctantly turned back and had only the waterfront view and the serenade of lots of  Honkers [Canada Geese] to escort me back to the Park. And then, in a little Flubberty Noblesse Oblige – a Monarch made an appearance:

But I had already decided that the Honkers, the Novel views of the TO Skyline  and the Spit’s Found Art sculptures had been reward enough along with good company plus the exercise of a vigorous walk along Toronto’s Eastern Beaches.

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