The Exodus of the Monarch Butterfly
A cool breeze is passing through.
Moving across the rolling fields and valleys of the upper Midwest.
Offering relief to some and instruction to the monarch.
The merciless chill of winter is advancing.
The time has come for the monarch to leave.
In preparation she engorges herself with nectar.
Every drop necessary for survival.
Storing fat for the long and arduous journey ahead.
A massive, international migration.
Stretching thousands of miles, lasting months on end.
Her life culminates to this.
2,000 miles, millions of monarchs and one mysterious destination.
Traveling a distance typically reserved for creatures greater in size;
The whales of the sea, the birds of sky.
An unlikely trek for a fragile, unassuming insect.
Yet every year, they defy expectations.
Across the numerous lakes of Minnesota,
tThe wavy cornfields of Iowa,
aAnd the sun-soaked plains of Texas.
Deep into the heart of Mexico.
Monarchs making this journey are set apart.
Those born in the spring cannot withstand this trail.
A special generation will brave this passage alone.
Fulfilling a pilgrimage birthed by their ancestors.
Every mile unfamiliar, every length anew.
No monarch ever to repeat this migration.
This is their first and final flight South.
Somehow, they know precisely where to fly.
A puzzling, dazzling and mystical fact of nature.
Those who made the previous years' migration have passed;
oOnly instinct will guide them along the way.
Hardship is abound throughout her quest.
The web of spider,
The claw of praying mantis,
The pursuit of migrating birds.
All looking to catch her.
Still, she presses on.
Gliding along the warm summer current,
rResting in trees of pine, fir and cedar at nightfall;.
oOffering refuge to these weary travelers.
A craving follows her.
A hunger for a sweet, enriching nectar,
fFound in wildflowers and milkweed—,
a hHabitat experiencing an unfortunate decline.
Challenging the monarch and her amazing 2,000-mile flight.
We seek to alleviate her toil.
Joining together to revive her habitat.
Inviting songbirds and honey bees along with monarchs.
Planting fields with the familiar beauty of native wildflowers and milkweed.
Ushering the monarchs as they move across the Midwest.
Continuing to share the soil, land and air.
Seeking harmony with nature.
Working within its boundaries, minimizing our impact.
Sustaining the wondrous migration of the monarch butterfly.
Her free and unrestrained movement over borders and nations.
Her ascension up the mountains of Mexico.
Her gathering in a mysterious, hidden forest.
Helping ensure monarchs will continue to greet you.