The Monarch butterflies are not only beautiful and have an incredible migration each year, they are also a key indicator species. Our world would be much less without them.
It’s February and the butterflies are getting restless. The earth is warming. Clumped together and clinging to trees they are getting hungry and impatient. They have spent the whole winter in a state of diapause — a kind of suspended animation where body functions slow to a bare minimum. It is fanciful idea but I think of them in the wintertime as being between realms: not quite alive, not quite dead. Which might be a familiar sensation. Each and every one of these butterflies learned about patience and discomfort when they transitioned from caterpillar to imago. Now as the sun begins to warm their bodies as well as the land they are waking up to remember who they are. Groups spontaneously rise up in practice flights only to settle back down again. But there is strength in their wings. They remember what it is to be alive.
“I think they…
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