Miraculous Monarchs

Imagine something weighing less than 1/5 of a penny flying up to 2500 miles!

Posted in , Nov 18, 2014

The miraculous Monarch butterfly. Photo by Judy Royal Glenn.

Around this time every year, millions and millions of Monarch butterflies are arriving in Mexico for the winter. They can’t survive the approaching cold in the north, so they fly south for warmer temperatures and a food source.

Monarchs from central and eastern Canada and those east of the Rocky Mountains make this journey while Monarchs west of the Continental Divide migrate to California.

Imagine something weighing less than 1/5 of a penny flying up to 2500 miles! It is amazing these tiny creatures can fly such long distances, but the miracle is they know where they are going, having never been there before!

I wrote a few weeks back about the disposition of chipmunks, but Monarchs win the award. It is obvious to see the Lord’s hand in the making of these amazing creatures.

What is more amazing is to understand the life cycle of the Monarchs. Only the 4th generation of Monarchs make the journey to Mexico. In February and March, the Monarchs that spent the winter in Mexico come out of the hibernation, mate, fly north, lay eggs then die.

The 1st generation is born! They start as an egg, caterpillar, chrysalis then turn into a butterfly. All Monarch butterflies, except the 4th generation, only live 6-8 weeks–from the time the egg is laid until it finishes its lifetime as a butterfly.

Around May and June, the 2nd generation is born, and the life cycle repeats itself. In July and August, the 3rd generation is born, and the life cycle repeats itself again.

But in September and October, the 4th generation is born and they do not die after 6-8 weeks. These are the butterflies that migrate to Mexico. Their lifespan is 6 to 8 months until the whole process starts over again!

What tickles me is seeing how the scientific world is baffled by how the Monarch butterflies find the trees in Mexico when it is something God so masterly orchestrated. I read words like: “researchers remain perplexed,” it is a “great mystery,” “no one knows.”

I may not exactly know how, but I know who….God!


Location: The State Botanical Garden of Georgia, Athens, Georgia

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