Flight of the Butterfly –

Has anyone witnessed the monarch’s migration firsthand?

I am not a fan of insects. My worst and most irrational fear is spiders – or anything with more than four appendages. But I also hold a deep-seated love of nature, and springtime at Patuxent Wildlife Refuge is one of my favorite places to be. So, of course the mini-monsters and I have crossed paths on occasion. Some years ago a friend and I set out on a hike, we were in the middle of our weekly catch-up session when we veered off the main trail to a narrow path and stepped into a scene right out of a fairytale. The trees pulsated in shimmering hues of orange and black. Thousands upon thousands of monarch butterflies rested gently on the surrounding trees. As we continued to move further down the path, the butterflies erupted into flight. Ghostly whispers from their wings brushed against our skin as they flew in graceful arcs around us. We watched in awe as the little aerialist continued to escort us the length of the trail. The phenomenon we witnessed was the beginning of the monarch’s 3,000 mile migration. The experience was so surreal and moving that the butterfly became an intricate part of my first novel, Butterfly Harvest.

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