Thursday, March 1, 2012

On the Path of the Monarch

See my slideshow. Clicking on photos will show the captions. Enjoy!

Still catching my breath from the writers conference, Gary and I packed up our suitcase two days later, and headed to Michoacan with the local Audabon group to visit the Monarchs, literally, butterflies without borders. These beautiful mariposas make their annual migration, traveling up to 3,000 miles to and from Northeastern Canada to the same over-wintering sight in the central Mexican highlands.  This phenomenon, which includes three to four generations in one year intrigues scientists and laymen alike, who have not been able to unravel the mystery of how they do it or know to do it, always coming back to the same places. Today, like so many other species, these magnificent butterflies, with little nectar from the milkweed flowers they depend on due to industrial agriculture,  and compromised sources of water, are being greatly challenged.  More and more of their winter habitat is being destroyed by illegal logging in Rosario Reserve of Michoacan.  It’s a complex issue as the poor people living there need to sell the wood for their livelihood. Of course, climate change is also profoundly affecting the butterflies. We have included many photos and hope you all have a chance to see the Monarchs someday, before they are gone from these once even more densely butterfly populated sights in Mexico.

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