At the beginning of fall each year, most people spend time gathering together their fun decorations, go shopping for pumpkin spiced everything and start planning their Halloween costumes. People start thinking of their upcoming bonfire parties, Thanksgiving dinners and pumpkin carving with friends. The seasonal festivities that make life so much fun in the fall keep us busy and preoccupied, ignoring most of the natural world around us. So it’s no surprise that most people don’t know that the monarch butterfly is just as busy as we are during this time of the year. Only we aren’t flying across the country and down into Mexico!
Without having someone giving direction or instruction, millions of monarchs fly southward to Mexico every fall. It’s a miracle that can’t be understood by our tiny human brains. How do they know where to go? How do they know when to leave? Who keeps track of where to stop for snacks?!
Despite the thousands of miles of travel, some of these brave little butterflies make it to the gulf coast of Florida to then fly across the water and then down into Mexico. My mom and I were blessed enough to watch some of this in action when we traveled to Aligator Point in Florida last week. We saw the butterflies fly up over the water and then like magic disappear into thin air. Some of them were flying together in sets of two- sticking together no matter what. Some of them fluttered right up to our faces like they were saying hi before gliding away. It was really special, and it’s something that makes you feel like everything is going to be alright.
And in the spring, they’ll fly back north again to start all over. It’s truly something that amazes me, and I’m thankful to have been a part of it! I loved spending that time with my Mom and watching those cuties fly away into the sky. Miracles are everywhere, you just have to take the time to look for them.