The news is GOOD! About 160 MILLION monarchs are expected at the sanctuaries about 2 1/2 hours south of San Miguel the end of October and into November! That is three times as many as last year. Could it be that people in Canada and the USA are planting lots of milkweed and other plants that monarchs feed on? I hope so.
In the first two photos is a butterfly who greeted me right outside my kitchen door two days ago. Then yesterday there were literally hundreds swooping and landing in the garden. The sun was warm and there was no wind. Two things that butterflies seem to thrive in. As those of you who read my blog know, I keep little saucers of water hidden all over in the flower beds and the butterflies often can be seen dipping into the water! The other thing I notice is that they love the bourganvilla which is now blooming in profusion.
In Houston, my daughter Jennifer was a "butterfly" gardener. It even said so on her business card. She and her son Christopher delighted each time they saw a chrysalis and watched the process until a monarch emerged. Here she is with one that landed on her face! I treasure this photo.
Having traveled to Chinqua, which is the nearest sanctuary to San Miguel is awesome. No words can describe the wonder of seeing the trees covered with monarchs. When it warms up a bit and the sun comes out, they flutter their wings and take flight. The sound, yes, you can hear them, is a whoosh.........of wonderment.
These three photos are at Chinqua, the least visited sanctuary, as there are not accommodations to stay there and so it is a "go down and come back""in the same day trip. Well worth it. The last time I was there, I don't think there were ten other people there.
You must ride horses up to where the butterflies are, which is at 10,000 feet. Again, awesome.
The monarchs are at the sanctuaries from November til around the first of March. They usually come
back through San Miguel as they head north and feast on the lavender colored jacaranda trees.
The indigenous people believe that when the monarchs arrive that it is the returning souls of their departed. It is around Dia de los Muertos. Day of the Dead.
What a gift of Nature this is.............thrilling to put it mildly.