Monday, September 13, 2004

The Butterflies Are Back!

In the past few days, I have noticed that the butterflies have returned. There are Monarch butterflies fluttering over the yellow blossoms in the yard, the same ones that the hummingbirds love. Some kind of big, bright yellow butterfly is also passing through. They are all on their annual fall migration to the mountains of Mexico, where the Monarchs gather to winter each year. They pass through our area on the way. It appears our butterfly population will peak between Sept. 24- Oct. 11 as we are at Latitude 33. The butterflies instinctively reach their wintering grounds, making the trip only once. In the spring, they return from Mexico, and this year's southbound butterfly's great-grandchildren make the fall migration next year. So if I do the math right, they live about 3-4 months.
They are beautiful, graceful and have been symbolic throughout history. They have been used to represent freedom, increased environmental consciousness, the after life...I even saw a butterfly rancher offer to release butterflies (safely and appropriately) as part of a wedding or B'nai Mitzvah ceremony. I look forward to enjoying the many butterflies that will pass through our yard in the next month, and wish them a safe journey as they go along their way.