Phoebe and the Monarch

On a cold night in November, temperatures dipped below freezing and hundreds of monarchs fell from their places in the eucalyptus trees at Natural Bridges State Beach.  Below a certain temperature, monarchs can’t move their wings.  When I arrived in the grove, a saddened docent was there gathering up butterflies.  He suggested we help collect them and gently breathe warm air to warm their wings.  Unlike some butterflies, monarchs have relatively sturdy wings which will not be harmed by a gentle touch.  Still, all we had to do was put out our hand and the monarchs readily stepped into our palms, probably attracted to the warmth.  We saw many who didn’t make it and many who were able to warm back up and fly away.


November 28, 2014

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