Butterflies…not quite birds,
as they are not quite flowers,
mysterious and fascinating
as are all indeterminate creatures.
From inside my house today, I’m pretty sure I saw a monarch butterfly fluttering about my yard. This is an occurrence that I look forward to twice a year. For you see from April through June monarchs leave their habitats in groves of fir trees deep in Mexico or in the ancient Mayan ruins of Palenque to begin a journey as far north as southern Canada and in so doing fly over our area. Sadly the monarch’s numbers have decreased tremendously because of the ongoing shrinking of their habitats and the poisoning by farmers of milkweeds (Asclepias) along their flyway. However, I’m still seeing a measure of them every year, and finding these colorful nomadic wanderers in my garden has always been a delightful rite of passage in their dramatic migrations. Monarchs with their burnt-orange and black-veined wings edged in black margins which are sprinkled with white dots are remarkably stunning. That’s why it’s easy in the spring to spot the 5 or 6 generations of them as they go along the way to their northernmost destinations. Since milkweeds are their host plants (the ones on which they lay their eggs), monarchs pause to breed whenever and wherever they find them which is why I purposefully plant some in my yard each year. As though heeding some kind of primordial cosmic call or the birthing scents of autumn at this time of year, the last brood of summer begins the long journey back to Mexico. Though it takes 5 or 6 generations of them to make it northward in the spring, as summer ebbs away a “Methuselah generation” is born, and that unique breed of monarchs makes the journey all the way from Canada deep into Mexico where they’ll cluster in colonies the rest of the year. The fact that this generation of monarchs returns to these places where they have never been speaks of knowledge beyond the grasp of the human mind.
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge! How unsearchable His judgments, and His paths beyond tracing out! ~Romans 11:33 ✝
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