Save the Monarch!
The unique migration of the Monarch butterfly from Mexico to US and Canada can range up to four thousand miles.
Every spring the Monarch butterfly migrates thousands of miles in search of the ideal milkweed plant. When she finds it, she lays her eggs on the plant, so when each egg hatches, the baby caterpillar can feed on the milkweed leaves. The milkweed plant then provides the perfect protection as the caterpillar turns into one of nature’s wonders, a chrysalis. Then it transforms into an even greater wonder: a Monarch butterfly. And once the newborn butterfly soars away, the milkweed seeds fly away on the wind and start this cycle over again.
How do they do it?
Have you ever wondered how chubby caterpillars transform into beautiful, graceful butterflies? Or why some butterflies have bright, colorful wings while others look plain? Butterflies for Kids by Lauren Davidson answers all your questions with fascinating facts, photos, and illustrations. Learn about the butterfly life cycle, their unusual behaviors, and impressive migrations.
The Monarch Butterfly is the most recognizable and well-studied butterfly on the planet. Its orange wings are laced with black lines and bordered with white dots. Famous for their seasonal migration, millions of monarchs migrate from the United States and Canada south to California and Mexico for the winter, and back again two months later.
Thus Monarchs thrive in the milkweed growing along our highways and woodland edges, and in our open fields, fragmented prairies and vacant lots, and in our lovingly tended gardens.
What is the story of the monarch butterfly?
There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.
We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty. ~Maya Angelou
What the caterpillar calls the end of the world the master calls a butterfly. ~Richard Bach
The butterfly is a flying flower, the flower a tethered butterfly.
Monarch butterflies are the Kings of Farting.
The caterpillar does all the work, but the butterfly gets all the publicity. ~George Carlin
Transformation: caterpillars growing, eating, resting, mating, avoiding predators, then flying, flying, flying.
If you’ve read this far, enjoy this slice of memoir by Ocean Vuong, from The New Yorker magazine:
“Autumn. Somewhere over Michigan, a colony of monarch butterflies, numbering more than fifteen thousand, are beginning their yearly migration south. In the span of two months, from September to November, they will move, one wing beat at a time, from southern Canada and the United States to portions of central Mexico, where they will spend the winter.
They perch among us, on chain-link fences, clotheslines still blurred from the just-hung weight of clothes, windowsills, the hood of a faded-blue Chevy, their wings folding slowly, as if being put away, before snapping once, into flight.
It only takes a single night of frost to kill off an entire generation. To live, then, is a matter of time, of timing.”