Friday, August 12, 2011


From the enormous to the tiny.  I said that my first sense of a feeling of wonder had a component of fear within it, but upon further inspection I am not certain that is necessary.  Perhaps the fear is simply an extension of another component of wonder: the inexplicable.

Monarch butterflies migrate as far as 2500 miles from their spring and summer feeding grounds to return to California and Mexico where they hibernate during the winter.  Millions of butterflies make this journey every year, but the most fascinating thing about it to me is that only 1 out of every 4 generations make this journey and no single butterfly ever makes the journey more than once.  Monarch butterflies go through 4 generations each year.  The first 3 live only 6 to 8 weeks, while the fourth lives 6 to 8 months, migrates, hibernates, and then produces a new 1st generation that will migrate back to the feeding grounds.  Aside from their spectacular beauty, their inexplicable sense of their own species life cycle induces a sense of wonder.

You may want to skip around a bit in this video, as it is 10 minutes long, but at very least it gives a good sense of what the butterflies are like in their migration and hibernation.

1 comment:

P.Proteus1035 said...

The spot where the Monarchs go, Monterey, CA, is where I lived as a kid. It was a big deal for the small town to celebrate every year. It's like the evergreens suddenly have hundreds of living leaves.