Monarch Butterflies

A few weeks ago, I was saddened to see that monarch butterflies were listed in a The Washington Post story as one of 10 species that the next generation may not see.

Credit: thinkstock Monarch butterflies are on the endangered list.

It reminded me of a trail ride decades ago when we experienced a once-in-a-lifetime event: the migration of the Monarch butterflies from Canada to Mexico. 

The butterflies had stopped to rest (I assume) on trees all around a large open field we were riding into. There had to be hundreds of thousands of them, orange and beautiful. Even the horses seemed to be mesmerized by the site.

We stopped and watched. Whether it was time to leave or they noticed us invading their privacy, I don’t know. But after a few minutes they took flight, and the sky was filled with butterflies. It was indescribable. 

Would I have seen such a thing if I hadn’t been privileged to be riding my horse through the woods on that day and at that time? I doubt it. I haven’t seen anything as wonderful since then.

It saddens me greatly that not only are the areas to ride in open spaces becoming more difficult to find (that field is now a development full of houses on half-acre lots), but the creatures themselves, the Monarch butterflies, may not be there in coming years.