We’re in the middle of March, and while I’m an avid March Madness basketball fan, here in south-central Texas, the month has another special event: the Monarch Migration.
The Monarch butterflies you see in the summertime east of the Rockies spend their winters in Mexico. They seem to have an aversion to freezing temperature, much like me, and migrate up to 2,500-miles twice a year to stay warm. (That’s way more mileage than your most avid snowbird will put on their RV.) The butterflies hang out on a specific type of tree located in a narrow belt along the Mexico and Michoacan state borders in central Mexico.
At some point in March, they sense the weather changes up north, and start their long journey to their summer playgrounds. Here in Texas, we see it start with a couple flittering about in our backyards. A couple days later, you feel like you’re in a stream of butterflies. That’s when I spend a lot of time sitting on my back porch, letting their winding, yet linear, flight calm my soul and inspire my mind.
I try not to drive during the migration. How sad to know that after about a thousand miles, they meet an unfortunate end against my car, all because I “needed” something. When I eventually get around to landscaping my back yard, I intend on planting patches of milkweed to give my weary visitors a place to feed and rest—as a good neighbor should.
But until then, I’ll sit quietly as they pass by and whisper, “Safe journeys. See you in October.”