Monarchs and Milkweed – The Precarious Cycle

My Altona Forest

One of the most astounding migrations on the planet begins right in our back yards, in our meadows and fields, and at the edges of forests like Altona. It is the amazing life story of the monarch – a delicate summer breeze- borne butterfly that has the endurance to travel the length of a continent.

Each year as our summer fades these fragile beauties begin their epic journey south. Past the Great Lakes, through the Appalachian forests, and past the Texas coasts all the way to a few acres of Oyamel fir cloud forest in Mexico. It’s hard to believe they travel this far, brave the elements, face storms, and harness some miraculous internal GPS system that leads them to the very forests that their ancestors wintered in. Changes to global weather patterns have decimated populations in their wintering grounds – like the deep freeze of a couple years…

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