Monday, February 11, 2008
Monarcha Mariposas (Monarch Butterflies)!
In this land known for tropical beaches, pyramids and eternal sunshine we found our little Ballard Bunch of Explorers wearing layers of clothing and preparing to climb a mountain covered with pine and fir trees. The scenery reminded more of my home in New England rather than Mexico.
Our family had come to the mining town of Angangueo, Mexico - it was a completely different Mexican experience. This town is known internationally as the migration and mating point annually for millions of Monarch Butterflies. Each year this sanctuary is filled with these delicate creatures. Every third or fourth generation travels thousands of miles from Canada and the United States migrating and mating here. During the migration a Monarch Butterfly can travel approximately 50 miles and day totaling up to 2,000 miles during the migration.
We had been told that the trip would be worth it and we were not quite sure what to expect as we began trip - once we reached Angangueo we stopped in the streets and picked up a young man, Emmanuel, who worked as a guide - his help was more than necessary as we wound our way through the streets of this little town! Finally we reached "El Rosario" (one of the five Monarcha Mariposa sanctuaries in Mexico). There we began our climb!
The temperature was chilly and the air was thin... it took some time for our bodies to adjust to the altitude! While we climbed we began seeing a few butterflies here and there and we talked about what a beautiful sight it was. We began counting the Monarchs that we saw and we were quickly up into the twentys. We wound our way around trees and found ourselves at a summit on the mountain - where there were a hundred or so butterflies fluttering around. It was a beautiful sight; we noticed that the path continued on - so up we went. We rounded a few more turns, enjoying the scenery and the butterflies.
We rounded the next corner and the sight was enough to take your breath away. Immediately our family sensed a type of reverance because we saw trees laden with butterflies, the skies were filled and we were receiveing real 'butterfly kisses' as the beautiful creatures would float through the air all around us! Marvelous, Beautiful, Wondrous, Awe-inspiring... these adjectives begin to share some of the feelings experienced as we stood among some of Heavenly Father's most delicate creations. The experience was truly magnificent. The people all around us were (for the most part) quiet, thoughtful, even reverant. As we were watching we came to realize that we were also listening - we could actually hear the millions of butterfly wings! Until that moment the thought of hearing butterfuly wings would have been incomprehensible... but, we have stood among millions of Monarchs and have heard the delicate sound of butterfly wings!
It was a singular moment in life in which I was grateful that I endured the climb in order to behold the beauty. As we drove home our children commented about how the experience made them want to thank our Father in Heaven for his creations! I was grateful, as a parent, that they were able to see the beauty for what it truly was and that we have the privelege of knowing from Whom that beauty comes!
We hope you can enjoy the pictures we have to share of our experience!