To save or savor Monarchs during their autumn migration to Mexico
Nice essay Bryan. I recently discovered some monarch eggs on my milkweed being eaten by some red bug I didn't recognize and decided to "rescue" them by bringing them indoors and keeping them in a jar until they hatched, when I planned to release them, or at least some them, thereby hoping to boost their numbers. But alas, none of the eggs hatched and I felt bad--probably should have killed the insect eating them instead or just let nature take it's course. What do you think about captive breeding of monarchs in an effort to boost their numbers?
The ending of this ... just, 😭. It says everything about how true immersion in what we love can help us do our best to help it.
And you've reminded me that for the last two years I've forgotten to plant the milkweed seeds I got. They're meant to be planted in the fall, and by then I'm long past thinking of seeding things. I will not forget this year!
This just brought me to tears. Complete and utter awe. And E.B. White ... one of my favorites .... Thankful for sharing this beautiful experience.
One of the challenges of being officially old is that I've experienced a lot, which means little is new.. Thank you for a rare new wonder, told so delightfully, I felt it myself. I've wandered in wonder through the coastal migration, photographed bits of their Mexico presence, but I've never been part of the migration. Thank you for stopping long enough to gather and share this incomprehensible experience.
Thanks Bryan, this guide is great. Another problem I'm having is that the deer keep eating my swamp milkweed:( And if you can find that paper about captive breeding on Monarchs, I'd love to see it.
What a gorgeous photo! I’ve seen so many monarchs this year and it’s been so delightful (also gives me hope). 🦋
I adore your "photoshop" artsy photo. Just...all the feels.
Well, that brought tears to my eyes. We all need to do this. To be with and in nature. And to save what we can... Thank you. Again and again.
Bryan, this was wonderful, thank you. I take it you saw this great piece today.
I think of monarchs quite often. The natural garden in our yard is modestly heavy with milkweed in efforts to help ‘em out, with some modest indicators of success, though I still don’t see monarchs as I did when I was a kid.
I was pleased to read of your struggle, in the same vein as White’s (and somewhat similar to my own, it turns out), between desires to help, to count, to contribute to scientific efforts so necessary to aid understanding, and to efforts to preserve, protect, defend, and resuscitate those bits of nature at greatest risk, and, on the other hand, to live, breathe, move, touch, and feel--to be in, of, and with nature and other living things being alive. For me today it was some sweat bees and migrating warblers and a beautiful, iridescent green cuckoo wasp. Then I did a pollinator count for a citizen-science project. (Only later, to my chagrin, did I realize I left my tally sheet out on our patio table, and when I went out to get it, it was gone. Not the greatest loss to science today or even just within my zip code, but annoying.) It did me good to know that others, too, sometimes are torn between being Responsible and being Joyous and Celebratory. I tell myself we need both, and hope I find some reasonable balance.
Feeling all the vicarious wonder of this experience. Thank you for sharing it with us.
This is such a delightful story. It gave me the chills.
I truly believe that to savor is to save. Thank you for this wonderful piece.
This is so beautiful I have tears in my eyes, and that doesn’t happen to me very often. What a gift you’ve shared. Thank you.
An accidental tumble in a meadow of wildflowers and all types of insects was an adventure in discovery. The eye level immersion was rewarding . So many little elements that I normally gloss over as I move through the field. I can imagine your "butterfly immersion therapy" completely!
I recently read the novel Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver in which the monarchs played an important part of the narrative. A lovely work of fiction.
A friend of mine is a recreational nature photographer, and she sometimes uses the phrase "eyes only," which she includes when telling me about a wonderful moment that happened and she either didn't have her camera with her, or opted not to disrupt the moment by taking a picture. Thus the special moment was uniquely hers. This essay reminds me of that.