Monarchs flutter into Dallas Arboretum on fall migration


We weren’t the only visitors to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden last Sunday. Aside from all the human visitors, hundreds of monarch butterflies arrived on the north wind blowing into Texas and settled into the garden for a rest stop.


I understand their fall migration is stalled out at the moment because southerly winds have returned. But not to worry: north winds will return soon and speed them on their way to Austin and on to Mexico.


After all that flying, they sure were hungry.


They flapped past in their eagerness to hit the snack bar of salvia, red yucca, and lantana. It warmed our hearts to see them, knowing their numbers are in decline, and having just watched a film about their life cycle, Flight of the Butterflies, at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.


I showed you the fall extravaganza of Pumpkin Village in my last post, but there’s much more to see at the Arboretum. Fall bedding annuals like these marigolds make a cheerful show, although they were not attracting the butterflies.


What else was showy? Blazing red gomphrena, for one.


Add variegated tapioca and you have a sunglasses-worthy combo.


Interesting water features appear throughout the gardens, like this negative-edge pool overlooking White Rock Lake in the Woman’s Garden.


And this tumbling stream in the Red Maple Rill garden.


How about supersized, water-spouting toads? The Arboretum has those too.


Kids are always drawn to these “frog fountains” and play in the spouting water in the summertime.


On this day it was comfortably cool — no toad spray needed.


This squirrel appreciated a drink of puddled water though.


Several charming sculptures hint at the presence of water, like the playful Chico y Chica de la Playa (Boy and Girl on the Beach).


The Playdays young woman tentatively dips her toes into an imaginary pool filled with frogs. White Rock Lake in the distance adds a real water view.


As always, lots of pro photographers were in the garden (too many, in my opinion), including at least a half-dozen doing photo shoots with girls in candy-colored, frothy, Scarlett O’Hara-worthy quinceanera dresses. Something about this girl posing in the Fern Dell put me in mind of a fairy tale, maybe Thumbelina?


Speaking of ferns, I spy a leafy frond through the stone lantern’s window.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the Arboretum visit. For a look back at the light-hearted, colorful Pumpkin Village and autumn displays, click here.

All material © 2006-2014 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

6 Responses

  1. Kylee Baumle says:

    That took me back to our visit during the GWA Symposium. That was such a fun time! I’ve seen several films about the monarchs and I’m pretty sure I’ve seen that one. Was it also shown on PBS? I’d read just this week that the monarchs were in Texas in numbers right now. Glad you got to see them in such a beautiful place! And ohhhhhh, that red Gomphrena. I’ve been wanting to find a reasonably priced source for JUST RED seed to grow here. Any ideas? I’ve so far been unable to locate anyone that sells just the red in higher quantities than single packets that don’t really contain much seed.

  2. Cat says:

    I LOVE that photo of you and D. So adorable!

  3. Kris P says:

    Wonderful photos, Pam. I love the spouting toads! Thanks for sharing your visit.

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