Farewell Monarchs

Inquiring minds want to know, “Where do the Monarchs go?” I am often asked this question, not by children, but by adults. Most children have studied, or are studying, the butterfly life cycle and the have some degree of knowledge about the Monarch migration. The reason the majority of adults never learned about the Monarch butterfly migration is because the great mystery of their winter destination was only discovered as recently as 1975! The Monarchs that are journeying through Gloucester at this time of year travel approximately 2,000 miles to the transvolcanic mountaintops of  south central Mexico, near the town of Angangueo. I have the National Geographic issue from 1975 that tells the tale of one man’s determination, including all the scientific intrigue that goes with great discoveries, and I will try to post more about this fascinating story in the coming weeks.

As everyone who reads GMG probably knows by now, I am in the midst of shooting my Monarch film. What you may not know is that I have written and illustrated a book that tells the story of this most exquisite of creatures and its extraordinary journey. I am hoping to find a publisher. If anyone knows a friend of a friend of a friend, or has a suggestion for a very high quality publisher or top-notch agent, please let me know. Thank you.

7 comments

  • Beautiful – I belong to the Writer’s Group in East Gloucester. Some of us actually have gotten published and I will find out who they went to for their books! Good luck.

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  • There was a movie at the Museum of Science in Boston last year about the migration patterns of several kinds of creatures; the Monarch was one of them. One thing I learned from the film was that it takes 3 generations of Monarch butterflies to make the journey from Canada to Mexico! And how do they know where to go? No one knows yet for sure, but the amazing thing is that the new Monarch butterflies that are born during this amazing migration, they just know where to go. Its an incredible thing!

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    • Hi Peter, It takes three to four generations of Monarchs to travel from Mexico to their northern breeding grounds in the U.S. and Canada. It only takes one generation to travel the journey south to Mexico. Perhaps you saw an older film–it is well-documented where the butterflies spend the winter–nestled in the sheltering boughs of the oyamel fir trees in the transvolcanic mountains in the state of Michoacán.

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  • Best wishes for finding the perfect publisher! I know it will be a beautiful and well-written book for your photos and posts are always interesting and marvelous.

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    • Thank you Ann for your kind words and well-wishes. I put that out there about a publisher thinking it was a little weird, but then again, nothing ventured, nothing gained, as my grandmother often said!

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  • Colleen Hogan-Lopez

    I travelled to the mountains near Michoacan Mexico first by truck then on horse back and the rest of the journey on foot. My husband and I saw where the butterflies migrate for the winter, they hang in large clumps in the trees when the clouds cover the sky and as soon as the clouds pass they flutter and dance in the sunshine, what a beautiful sight a memory that I will never forget.

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  • Thank you for sharing your beautiful experience Colleen–mesmerizing and unforgettable I am sure!

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