Nature has many marvels. One of the most miraculous is the Monarch butterfly.
These creatures, fragile flying origami dipped in orange and black water colors, undertake a massive 2500 mile migration every year, often to the exact Oyamel fir tree in Central Mexico’s Oyamel Forest that they overwintered in the previous year.
Monarch butterflies are the only insect that migrates to warmer climates, and do so because they cannot withstand freezing weather. Further, the food that sustains the larva does not grow where they over-winter so they must fly north in Spring where their food grows. Monarch larvae (caterpillars) only eat Milkweed.
Caterpillars from a kit.
Adult Monarchs can be attracted to your garden with flowers, fruit trees, butterfly feeders and some cut up fruit slices. Welcoming these creatures to your garden with small offerings serves their greater good in the face of mounting threats to their survival in the form of pesticides, logging and our general penchant to pave paradise in pursuit of parking lots.
On a more metaphysical note, butterflies have long been considered “messengers” from heaven. Angels are said to send messages through butterflies. When you see one, pause for a moment and see if an idea or sign or clarity pops into your head. There are many stories of connection across the veil between heaven and earth in the form of butterflies. Some of these can be found in the book Butterfly Messengers: True Stories of Comfort and Hope by Lloyd Hollett. My mother sees butterflies all the time. It began after a close friend, who had a passion for butterflies, passed unexpectedly.
The caterpillars develop into a chrysalis.
Butterflies – intrepid travelers, heavenly helpers, painted pilgrims …….. As ethereal as these fragile beings are, they still need Milkweed, pesticide-free pastures and trees in forests free of logging contracts.
Launching a campaign to help Monarchs and other butterflies on their thousand mile journeys may simply start with a single step – buy a Milkweed plant. Start a garden that will contribute to the butterfly’s wellbeing, and in so doing you may well enrich your own too.
- Monarchs can travel between 50-100 miles a day.
- It can take up to two months to complete their journey.
- The farthest ranging monarch butterfly recorded traveled 265 miles in one day.
For more information on Monarchs this is a very interesting site : www.wildcenter.org
To get free Milkweed seeds : www.livemonarch.com
To buy a Live Butterfly kit : www.nature-gifts.com
Flowers attract insects and other pollinators to your garden.
A sugar water mixture drink before release into the world !