Absolute Monarch

I tend to have a Rolodex of random scientific facts revolving around my mind. Nature never ceases to amaze me, and I can understand why some people have a pantheistic belief. Every so often, one of the random facts I accumulate over the years floats back to the surface and makes me smile at nature’s wonderment.

The monarch butterfly is the only known butterfly to have the same migratory life as birds. Over the winter, the monarch lives in Mexico. Around this time of year, the butterflies become reproductive and start traveling north. However, these tiny creatures (weighing less than a gram) do not have long life spans; they will go through 3 or 4 generations to reach their final destination in the northern states and Canada. Miraculously, each successive generation somehow knows to continue traveling northward. For a grand finale, the last generation migrates the entire 2,000 to 3,000 mile journey back to Mexico.

As I migrate through the swells and slumps of the month of March, the long and wonderfully strange trip of the monarch butterfly encourages me to carry on.

 

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7 thoughts on “Absolute Monarch

  1. It is so very interesting. Now monarchs need our help to survive. Thanks for posting about them. I found a great TEd talk about monarch migration by Sonia Altizer, The Butterfly effect: Saving the Migratiry Monarchs. I will use it in a one day workshop for teachers about monarchs, because she explains the process so much better than I.

    Like

  2. It is so very interesting. Now monarchs need our help to survive. Thanks for posting about them. I found a great TEd talk about monarch migration by Sonia Altizer, The Butterfly effect: Saving the Migratory Monarchs. I will use it in a one day workshop for teachers about monarchs, because she explains the process so much better than I.

    Like

  3. We’re in the monarch path here in central Texas. One of my favorite monarch memories occurred when my daughter was preschool-age. We were walking the hike-n-bike behind our house, and a small swarm of monarchs surrounded us for just a moment before flying on. It was magical!

    Like

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