Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Monarch Butterfly (re-post from last fall)


 I realize I have not finished blogging about our vacation, but I am distracted by all the happenings of fall and again by the Monarch Butterfly.  It is hard to feel Caribbean with the smell of apples and the sight of changing leaves.  I will put on some Jimmy Buffet and get in the vacation mode again soon.  This is a re-post from last year about the Monarch Butterfly... they continue to amaze me.

Fall is one of my favorite seasons; I love to watch the dance of the cool, crisp, breeze with the newly fallen leaves. I love sweatshirts, caramel apples, pumpkins and apple pies. The list goes on and on but I think my most favorite is the migration of the Monarch Butterfly.

As I drive down the road or sit along the sideline of a soccer game, I can't help but notice the flutter of this beautiful butterfly in late September. When I see one of these little guys I get swept up in the magnificence of their life span, migration and global positioning.

These beautiful insects have a brain about the size of a grain of salt. These butterflies, after leaving their cocoon in late September, know they are the 4th generation of butterflies this year. They know they are the great grandchild of the Monarch Butterflies who flew to Mexico last fall and they know it is their job to make the same journey. How they know we are not sure.

Not only do they know they are the 4th generation, but they also know exactly where they are to go. They have never been to Mexico, but somehow they know how to get to the Biosphere Reserve without having to stop for directions. We had to purchase a GPS to assure we wouldn't get lost while driving on vacation to an area we have visited several times before.

It gets better. The Monarchs who hatch here in Ohio know they are to head to Mexico, however, the Monarchs who hatch in the western states head to California. The generations who hatched in May and June or July and August die after 2-6 weeks of becoming a butterfly. The 4th generation however live up to 8 months and they travel south to hibernate. They meet up with over tens of thousands of other butterflies where they blanket the trees and bushes to keep warm together.

After hibernation they make the journey back north to mate, lay eggs and start the process all over again.

To me this is yet another example of God's love and His attention to detail in our lives. He created the Monarch Butterfly to know it's path in life and I believe He created us to do the same. We mess our GPS up by getting detoured by society and by what we think is a better route, but He continues to say "recalculating" as He gently redirects us in the right direction.

He created this butterfly with such intricate detail that no one can understand their migration. I feel blessed to have the opportunity (short as it may be) to witness this spectacular event.

As you see these little fellows fluttering south this fall; wish them a safe journey so we may see them again in the spring.

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