That’s a funny title for a “National Day,” isn’t it? At first I thought of Queen Elizabeth and wondered if people were going to try extra hard to get a glimpse of her today. Then I did a little more research. Now I get it. Butterflies. They are a wonder to see. When I was a young teenager, one day I noticed through a window some kind of cloud descending onto our back acreage. I went out with my sibs to investigate what we were seeing. Bazillions of Monarchs had come to rest on the top of the grasses of our field. I didn’t know then that Monarchs migrated, or that they were even considered extra special. But I was incredibly impacted by the sight. I remember it vividly. I’ve since learned that tens of thousands can roost on a single tree. Though each only weighs less than a gram, together that many can break a branch off a tree! (See? I DID see a bazillion!)
Monarchs are the only known butterflies to make a two-way migration like birds do. They can’t survive the cold winters like other butterflies. (I'm ready to channel my inner Monarch and flee the cold winters, too!) Using things like air currents, the magnetic pull of the earth, and the sun’s position for navigation, they can fly as far as 3,000 miles to reach the warmer climates to winter over. They use several flyways that merge together into one main passageway, somewhere over central Texas. (Kinda like the turtles in “Finding Nemo” riding the EAC. Disney? Do I see a movie possibility here???)
You can support them and their habitat by planting milkweed in your yard. Or by just not pulling up what is already there. (Because it’s milkweed growing wild in between the cracks of my patio bricks, that helps me justify not worrying about the “weeding.”)
Keep your eyes open for a Monarch sighting today. And happy Start Seeing Monarchs Day.
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