Because of the current stretch of rainy weather there will be few Monarch sightings at this time. Butterfly’s wings don’t work very well in the cold and rain. We can hope that if the warm weather returns there will be a greater number of butterflies migrating through our region than the passel of last week. In the mean time, I thought I’d share one of my most treasured possessions, which is the August 1976 issue of National Geographic. I purchased this copy when I began doing research for my Monarch film and children’s book. If I remember correctly, it was $2.50 on eBay–lucky me to find a copy!!
The issue tells the story of the “discovery” of the Monarchs by scientists. I have reservations in writing the word discovery because it is difficult to imagine that the native peoples living in the region did not know of their existence long before westerners. As a matter of fact, the woman who led the discovery, Catalina Aguado, was born in Michoacán, the Mexican state that is home to the butterflies wintering grounds. Catalina is the only living member of the original team featured in the 1976 National Geographic article.
The complete article is available to read online here.
There have been three interesting and noteworthy Monarch stories in the news recently, forwarded to us by our GMG FOBs. Stay tuned for a post tomorrow with summaries and links to all three articles.
Monarch Butterfly Explosion!
I am back from Mexico and, although there for less than a week, there was much to take in. My most sincerest thanks to all our readers for your safe-travels well-wishes and kind thoughts!
The butterflies were dazzling and beautiful beyond imagination, but also very sad. This wondrous migration of the Monarchs, which has taken place for over a million years, is in serious peril. If changes are not made very soon, the migration will end. I’ll write more about my trip and the extraordinary scientist that I traveled with, Doctor Tom Emmel, this weekend after I am all caught up with design work and photography projects. Additionally, I interviewed Dr. Emmel at the top of the Sierra Chincua Monarch Colony, located in Michoacán at 10,000 feet above sea level, and will be bringing GMG readers the full interview!
For the past three years I have been filming the life story of the Monarch Butterfly in backyards and along the shores of Cape Ann. My original intent was to tell the story of the butterflies primarily as it relates to their northern breeding grounds and specifically here in our community. Prior to filming, I wrote a children’s story about the Monarchs and during this entire time I have had an ongoing inner debate as to whether or not to travel to Mexico. While editing the film these past few months, I determined that capturing the butterfly’s story in their winter sleeping grounds as they are awakening in Mexico would only add to the film’s depth and beauty. To film in Mexico would be a dream come true.
If you listened to Joey’s GMG podcast yesterday, you heard that in February I am going to be filming the butterflies in Mexico!! This all has come about very quickly! I have to practice walking five miles a day, recall how to ride a horse, and learn enough Spanish so that if I am separated from my group or kidnapped by bandits, I can at least inquire as to where is the bathroom.
Does anyone know of a local outfit that gives lessons in trail riding? And does anyone have experience with a Spanish language lesson CD (basic)? If so, can you please recommend in the comment section. Thank you!!!!!!!
Stay tuned for adventures from Mexico! Beauty on the Wing ~ Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly will premiere in the summer of 2014.
Rather than wait until the film was complete, this weekend I made a new website for the film-in-progress. When you have a moment, I hope you’ll visit my website and read more about Beauty on the Wing here.
Monarch Butterfly Nectaring at Common Milkweed ~ Good Harbor Beach, Gloucester
Beauty on the Wing celebrates the poetry and majesty of the uniquely North American phenomenon of the Monarch butterfly and its migration. There are no other butterflies the world over that travel this distance and it is a fascinating ecological link that connects Mexico with nearly every geographic region within the United States and Canada. How well the forested habitats of Michoacán are taken care of is as of equal importance to the Monarchs as how we in Gloucester conserve our habitats.