I was watching Stephen Fry’s new six part BBC TV travel series to Central America the other night. He was visiting the Mexican valleys where the winter roosts of Monarch Butterflies occur.
We visited such a roost in early 2014 just a little further north in California. Successive generations of Monarchs make their way north, laying eggs and handing over the baton to their progeny who reach the upper reaches of the USA and Canada before breeding again and donating the return leg back to Mexico to the next generations. The last generation ‘hibernate’ in the forest until they wake the following spring.
Given the long migration these insects perform they occasionally find themselves swept up into transatlantic winds and deposited on this side of the ocean. I’ve seen them several times in the UK now too but only on the Isles of Scilly in Autumn.
It was interesting to listen to Stephen Fry’s commentary. He whispered it. As though he were in some reverent spot or worshipful place. He spoke quietly as though not to wake the clouds of insects festooned about the branches above him. I felt the same … as though I were in nature’s cathedral.