The Secret of the
Monarch Butterfly

For decades the monarch kept a secret from us.
Every spring, summer and fall we enjoyed her flight.
And every winter, she disappeared.

Where did she go?

Nora and Fred Urquhart, husband and wife research team,
dedicated their lives to solving this mystery.
Two scientists possessed with desire to find the monarch’s winter home.

After 37 years of searching, her secret was revealed:
An unlikely hiding place deep in the heart of Mexico.
Her destination, a forest called “Oyamel.”

Every winter she flies 10,000 ft. up to the highlands.
Millions and millions of butterflies engulf the forest.
Five months a year, this woodland is ruled by the monarchs.

Normally a species of solitude,
in the winter they crowd together.

In groups of 10,000, they cling to trunks and branches.
Absorbing sunlight, creating warmth to avoid predators and survive.
Like all of us, she waits for spring.

In this forest, she falls into a deep sleep.

Hibernation begins earning her name Danaus plexippus or “sleepy transformation.”
Surviving only on stored fat from the fall, she endures.
No food and little water, she sustains.

The dangers of winter.

She evades predators and elements.
The black-backed oriole circles and searches for her.
The wind blows with no concern.
Snow, rain, sleet and frost supply a constant threat.
The only cover provided by a special tree.

The Oyamel fir tree.

Standing for centuries, built to withstand winter’s brutal sting.
Timber kind and strong, aptly shielding her.
The fir tree offers asylum to every monarch in need.

In the past, trees of such age and wisdom were hard to find.

This old, sturdy forest was being cut down.
The monarchs in desperation turned to trees of younger age.
Trees not ready, not strong enough to protect her.

A thoughtful, noble, brave few refused to accept this demise.

Words to action, intention to deeds.
They fought to protect and restore the winter refuge of these amazing creatures.
Today, the Oyamel is more secure.

We seek to join this movement.

To accompany fellow admirers in restoring her habitat beyond the Oyamel.
To aide her amazing journey across the U.S and Canada.
To use our knowledge, resources and influence on behalf of the monarch butterfly.
Ensuring she’s not a passing tale, but an enduring, natural beauty.

For we do not own, but share this planet.

With every animal, every plant and every insect.
Our role, is to bring harmony to the farm, the soil and the dinner plate.
To provide every generation the chance to admire the majesty of the monarch.

Along with our partners, we can help the monarch continue to prosper.
So that every spring, she can make her way down from the mountains
and embark on a miraculous 2,000-mile journey to our backyards.
Learn more about our commitment to the monarch butterfly.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter and keep up with the conversation about food, sustainability and the environment.

For decades the monarch kept a secret from us. Every spring, summer and fall we enjoyed her flight. And every winter, she disappeared.

Where did she go?

Nora and Fred Urquhart, husband and wife research team, dedicated their lives to solving this mystery. Two scientists possessed with desire to find the monarch’s winter home.

After 37 years of searching, her secret was revealed: An unlikely hiding place deep in the heart of Mexico. Her destination, a forest called “Oyamel.”

Every winter she flies 10,000 ft. up to the highlands. Millions and millions of butterflies engulf the forest. Five months a year, this woodland is ruled by the monarchs.

Normally a species of solitude, in the winter they crowd together.

In groups of 10,000, they cling to trunks and branches. Absorbing sunlight, creating warmth to avoid predators and survive. Like all of us, she waits for spring.

In this forest, she falls into a deep sleep.

Hibernation begins earning her name Danaus plexippus or “sleepy transformation.” Surviving only on stored fat from the fall, she endures. No food and little water, she sustains.

The Dangers of Winter

She evades predators and elements. The black-backed oriole circles and searches for her. The wind blows with no concern. Snow, rain, sleet and frost supply a constant threat. The only cover provided by a special tree.

The Oyamel Fir Tree

Standing for centuries, built to withstand winter’s brutal sting. Timber kind and strong, aptly shielding her. The fir tree offers asylum to every monarch in need.

In the past, trees of such age and wisdom were hard to find.

This old, sturdy forest was being cut down. The monarchs in desperation turned to trees of younger age. Trees not ready, not strong enough to protect her.

A thoughtful, noble, brave few refused to accept this demise.

Words to action, intention to deeds. They fought to protect and restore the winter refuge of these amazing creatures. Today, the Oyamel is more secure.

We seek to join this movement.

To accompany fellow admirers in restoring her habitat beyond the Oyamel. To aide her amazing journey across the U.S and Canada. To use our knowledge, resources and influence on behalf of the monarch butterfly. Ensuring she’s not a passing tale, but an enduring, natural beauty.

For we do not own, but share this planet.

With every animal, every plant and every insect. Our role, is to bring harmony to the farm, the soil and the dinner plate. To provide every generation the chance to admire the majesty of the monarch.

Along with our partners, we can help the monarch continue to prosper. So that every spring, she can make her way down from the mountains and embark on a miraculous 2,000-mile journey to our backyards. Learn more about our commitment to the monarch butterfly.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter and keep up with the conversation about food, sustainability and the environment.

The journey of the monarch continues…