MONARCH BUTTERFLIES

Latin America Mexico Monarchs El Rosario

From our base in Angangueo, we headed up into the 10,000′ mountains, rode horses part of the way and then walked a short distance to the ROSARIO SANCTUARY. The Monarchs clump by the thousands onto the branches of the OYAMEL trees where they hibernate during the winter.  We were very fortunate to have as our guide, Alfonso Alonso, a renowned expert on Monarchs.  Assisting him were Astrid and Karel Beets. We arrived in the afternoon, as the day began to get cooler, so the activity level was moderate.  It was mesmerizing and magical. Never had I imagined so many butterflies.

Latin America Mexico Monarchs Sierra Chi

Our viewing on this day was quite the opposite of the previous day. It was very cold and cloudy at CHINCUA SANCTUARY. The area with butterflies was minuscule due to the dire situation of the Monarchs. They used to cover far more ground, be in many more trees, but with their numbers plummeting, there were few trees covered by the butterflies. Due to the cold, the butterflies were dormant, their wings closed tightly. Quite a contrast. Instead of a lot of orange, it was a grey, black and white scene. I was glad to have experienced both and thought it quite beautiful in its own way.

Latin America Mexico Monarchs El Rosario

Our viewing on this day was quite the opposite of the previous day. It was very cold and cloudy at CHINCUA SANCTUARY. The area with butterflies was minuscule due to the dire situation of the Monarchs. They used to cover far more ground, be in many more trees, but with their numbers plummeting, there were few trees covered by the butterflies. Due to the cold, the butterflies were dormant, their wings closed tightly. Quite a contrast. Instead of a lot of orange, it was a grey, black and white scene. I was glad to have experienced both and thought it quite beautiful in its own way.

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© 2019 Anita Ruthling Klaussen