Monarach numbers swell

Yesterday we saw a dozen Monarch butterflies during a walk of 30-40 minutes down the central road and out to the towers.

Monarch - click image for larger view.

Monarch - click image for larger view.

Two at once! Clcik image for larger view.

Two at once! (look for the orange at upper left and lower right.) Clcik image for larger view.

It seems later then I remember, but this appears to be the migration peaking. Usually that walk would yield just 1-3 – by usually I mean what I saw during the last three weeks of September. I have a vague memory of one year finding Gooseberry littered with Monarchs in late Septemeber or early October, but frankly,t hat might have been Sachuest. I know I’ve seen them here other years – and I know I’ve had days when I’ve seen thousands – but I can’t remember whether that was Gooseberry, or nearby Sachuest Point in Newport, RI.

We had another incident with unleashed dogs. This is the one irritant about taking Higgins and Eliza to Gooseberry, or any publica location. In our hometown of Barrington, RI a small dog was killed recently at a public dog park. It was killed by a greyhound and grey hounds certainly ar enot known as vicious dogs. I suspect it thought the small dog was a rabbit, So we are always leary of any other dog. Eliza weighs just 10 pounds and while she’s a scapper, I expect Higgins would just roll over and say “bite me.”

Higgins was attacked when just apuppy by a strange dog that came whirling around a fence that should have kept it in its own yard. I was right there and intervened, but that’s no comfort. It was a scary incident and in such an instance, the person is likely to end up bitten. But in the past week or so we have twice encountered people who show up with their dogs loose and the dogs come charghing towards us.  The dogs might be very gentle, of course, but you can’t tell. And even agentle dog might be irritated and turn snappy in a strange place with a strange dog that is itself scared and thus acting offensive.

Westport has a leash law, but that doesn’t mean people follow it, especially in an open spot such as Gooseberry. So all we can do is keep our eyes and ears open and quickly pick up the dogs – which with a camera swung around your neck with long lens on it gets awkward.

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