On Wednesday May 2 I saw my first two Monarch Butterflies of the year, one during my lunch break at work and the second flying high over my yard after I got home. That is definitely the earliest date I've ever seen them in Southeast Michigan. Those butterflies perhaps the second or third generation offspring of last autumn's Monarchs that migrated to and overwintered in Mexico. The monarchs of spring and early summer are here for one reason. Reproduce.
Today I inspected my 8" high Swamp Milkweed sprouts and found four freshly laid eggs. After checking all the plants for eggs I noticed a female Monarch flying low over the milkweed patch. I left her to do her duty. A couple of hours later I rechecked the plants and I found 37 eggs. Below are photos of one of the eggs which in a few days will hatch and begin the two week larval stage of its life.
Checking my old records the previous early date for finding monarch eggs in the yard was May 22, 2001.