Tuesday, December 19, 2017
Evolution is Written on the Wings of Butterflies
Every year, millions of monarch butterflies migrate south from Canada and the United States to hibernate in the high mountains of Michoacán, Mexico. Thousands of visitors come to witness one of nature's greatest glories each year. Seeing nearly a billion butterflies fluttering in the treetops is truly one of nature's wonders and certainly worthy of inclusion in the seven wonders of the world.
The trip to the monarch butterfly reserve (Monarch Butterfly Biospere Reserve) is roughly two hours by car or bus from Morelia. Once one arrives, the hike up the mountain from the parking area at a level of 6,000 feet to reach the monarchs who settle in the mountain forest fir trees between 10,000 feet and 12,000 feet is worth the effort! Although be aware of possible altitude sickness if one is not acclimated to these lofty heights!
From December to mid-March, "These migrating Monarch butterflies travel in colonies of about 20 million insects and will travel between 80-120 nautical miles per day, depending on the wind and other weather conditions. The butterflies take advantage of ascending warm-air currents, gliding in the thrust they provide, needing only to flap their wings when the air current diminishes a little or when they change their flight path. This technique uses their energy efficiently, and physically enables them to undertake the long journey.
Sadly, the Trump administration's border wall threatens these wondrous creatures" (Monarch Butterflies). Butterfly sanctuaries in the path of the border wall are coming under attach as the Trump administration seeks to clear land for the border wall (Trump Environmental Destruction for the Wall). Monarch butterflies may not hold a high place in the Trump Administration's list of priorities, however environmental degradation at the hands of this administration is something that should concern all thinking people. To learn more about the monarch butterflies, their migration, and their importance as a measure to gauge environmental change including climate change, check out the film Flight of the Butterfly which is available on Netflix (Flight of the Butterfly). The Earth is our mother. We must treat her with kindness and respect.