Our Ballard Bunch in the foothills of the Sierra Gorda Mountains in Mexico, Mexico. These horses were truly 'work horses' as they climbed steep trails in the mountains. No horse worked harder than Jimmy's horse - Jimmy was about the same size as his horse. Our littlest man loved riding and was heard saying "YeeHaw" all the way up the mountain - in between petting his horse, Lolita, and telling her that she was dong a good job. If visiting this beautiful site be sure to bring bandannas to breathe as parts of the trail are extremely dusty.
Before we even arrived at the Piedra Herrada Sanctuary we began having cars bright light us and we slowed to turn a corner and found clouds of butterflies flocking the road. All of the cars were driving at a snail pace in order to allow the butterflies the right of way on the road. The sight was amazing and brought a smile to our faces.
The horses took us three quarters up the mountain. The final journey was on foot as the actual butterfly migration location was to be kept as silent as possible (we did have a two and four year old) and we were hopeful not to disturb the natural habitat of the butterflies. As we entered the area I began to see butterflies on the tree trunks and flying through the air. The guide pointed out to our family that every cluster on the trees were also resting butterflies or butterflies mating. As the sun lit the area the butterflies take to the air and the resulting display is breathtaking.
Butterflies decorating a beautiful pine tree in the Sierra Gorda Mountains of Mexico, Mexico.
Butterflies would begin to take to the sky as the sun lit and warmed the trees. As this pine was lit by the sun the butterflies began to take to flight.
These clusters of trees had not been warmed but the sun yet and you can see the large black clusters of butterflies. The limbs of the trees were bending with the weight of the butterflies. As the butterflies took to wing it was amazing to hear the soft beats of their wings - the sheer number of them allowed for us to hear the movement of their wings!
Here, near the forest floor I photographed the flight of the butterflies, nearby were butterflies mating and others (like those pictured on the tree trunk) had died after fulfilling the purpose for their migration.
Our birthday girl (the littlest princess) loved her time riding her horse and seeing the butterflies for her "Butterfly Birthday".
For our oldest daughter this may well be her 'last ride' in the mountains of Mexico with our family for a time. She is preparing to start her own chapters in life and this picture I took from behind her on the trail captured the upcoming departure of our girl! She will blaze trails of her own and take her adventures by the reign - we hope she will realize the beauty that she is and the beauty that surrounds her as she heads off on her own.
Overall, our Ballard Bunch enjoyed being outdoors together, loved the beautiful weather in Mexico, the welcoming of the people and the natural elegance and beauty of these amazing creatures. This is a memory that will not be forgotten. If you have the opportunity this experience is one that our Bunch highly recommends!