Last, but certainly not least, Monarch Butterflies.
wonder takes flight
footsteps hit the ground
gravity holds me tethered
walking sticks and gear-filled backpack
surrounded by people
on the same journey
searching for wonder
faster than focus can follow
rising from trees
warmed by the sunlight
wonder takes flight
closing my eyes
thankful to be here
listening…breathing in and out
the magic of this moment
i stretch my wings
embrace the wonder
and dance with butterflies
We arrived in Angangueo, ate an amazing lunch (bottomless guacamole!!), and set our sights on El Rosario. After riding up the steep and narrow roads in the back of pick-up trucks with benches, we were greeted by enthusiastic children selling baskets woven from the local pine trees. The handcrafts were beautiful and I bought several a few days later, but now it was time find monarch butterflies. Horses were provided by the locals to carry us up the mountain. Each horse had a person to lead the way. Thank goodness! It’s been
decades years since I’ve ridden.
The men have such great relationships with their animals. I’d hear kissing noises and my horse would speed up. It made me smile as I hung on tight.
Then we were off the horses and on the trail. Fernando told us not to be distracted by the occasional butterflies here and there, but it was hard not to be. Butterflies on the ground were drinking from a small trickle of water.
Not long after, we arrived at the viewing spot and could see incredibly large clusters of butterflies hanging on the branches of oyamel fir trees. There were also many of them flying around. How they don’t run into each other I’ll never know. This picture isn’t one of the clusters. It’s just a small gathering of butterflies. How many did we see? I wouldn’t be surprised if it were millions or at least hundreds of thousands.
Now, here are just a few of the clusters.
This isn’t really the best picture, but it gives an idea about the density of the clusters. How many butterflies are there in each one? Who knows. And…these clusters were just at the edge of the protected area. This goes on for acres.
Nature is incredible. This generation of monarch butterflies left Canada and the Great Lakes area of the United States, flying 3,000 miles to winter in Mexico. Considering they live for about six months, four times the average life span of Monarchs and have never been here is amazing. It was 4-5 generations ago when the last butterflies graced these mountains.
It was a magical moment that we repeated several times over the next few days. We visited the Chincua Sanctuary the next day and returned to El Rosario for our final experience. After taking photos, fellow travelers and I would sit quietly and these beautiful creatures would land on us. Sometimes when it was really quiet, we could hear the fluttering of their wings.
Somehow, I can’t think of them as bugs. They are just too beautiful.
And..who doesn’t want to fly?
and add color to the world?
Days spent in a beautiful place with wonderful people… Life is good.
And even time for a sundowner overlooking Angangueo. Wine always tastes better with a view.
It’s hard to really understand being in the midst of so many active butterflies unless you are there. The video and slideshow is in progress and coming soon.