Monday, August 28, 2017

Rain doesn't dampen enthusiasm at Monarch Trail event on County Grounds

The Monarch Trail is an 11-acre protected butterfly habitat that circles around the Echelon Apartments on the Innovation Campus of the Milwaukee County Grounds in Wauwatosa. It is currently awash in a magnificent spread of brown-eyed Susans.

The Friends of the Monarch Trail held their annual migration season kickoff celebration yesterday. Despite periods of light rain a good crowd enjoyed displays about monarch and other butterflies, the remarkable story of the 3000 mile migration, and the significance of the County Grounds as a roosting site. For the first time the event was held in the courtyard of the Echelon Apartment complex, in front of the recently renovated Eschweiler-designed historic Administration building. In a sign of the growing popularity of the event the Milwaukee County Parks Department provided a traveling beer tent and Cousins dispatched a food truck.

Ceole Cairde, the Irish ensemble, were on hand to provide musical accompaniment, as usual. A new feature this year was the McDonald family troupe of fife, drum and Irish dancers (above).

As if on cue, in the midst of all the merriment wild monarch butterflies quietly began to flutter into the courtyard and roost on the tree closest to the action (below). This bit of serendipity caused a sensation. Barb Agnew, the director of the Friends of the Monarch Trail considers it the precursor to what is likely to be an excellent season for butterfly watching. For updates on trail activities go to the Friends of the Monarch Trail website.

To see more photos of the Milwaukee County Grounds and Monarch Trail go to my Flickr album.

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