I was kickin’ back on the sofa flipping channels (I’m down to like 5 since I’m only doing basic cable now), and I started watching PBS. I’ve mentioned before that I’m pretty nerdy so watching a show devoted to butterflies is not out of my normal. The topic of the show was on the great migration of the monarch butterfly. I was blown away. The migration wasn’t even known about until recently. The African savannahs come to mind when I think about animal migrations. My mental image of wildebeests crossing a river full of crocodiles!
I knew the butterflies would come and go from the area, but I didn’t realize they do a 2000 mile journey from Canada to central Mexico. In the spring, when they leave Mexico headed back to the North their first stop is Texas to have the next generation. In the Dallas area, we have a lot of opportunity to host butterflies as they continue their journey. What I thought was amazing is that each future generation knows their part of the migration. The fourth generation of monarchs born in Canada automatically know to spend the winter in Mexico and start heading down.
Now the frustrating part, the whole migration is being threatened by development and logging of the Mexican forests. Monarchs are continuing to dwindle in population and the migration might come to an end. I really hope this amazing migration that passes right through Texas finds a way to continue. I would be heartbroken to loose these amazing creatures and not be able to tell their story.
I feel really inspired to take a trip and see this amazing phenomena in the fall. Anyone up for a trip to the mountains of Mexico? In the meantime, I’ll keep planting butterfly friendly plants in my yard and I hope you’ll consider doing the same. We have to help the next generation of monarchs continue!