A Monarch Kind of Christmas

Dec 25, 2017

Merry Christmas has always been merry, but it's better with butterflies! Isn't everything better with butterflies?

Last year, in our small-scale monarch rearing project here in Vacaville, Calif., we saw one monarch eclose on Saturday, Dec. 24, one on Sunday, Dec. 25, and one on Tuesday, Dec. 27. What's missing this Christmas: no monarch butterflies.

In 2016 we reared and released 62 Danaus plexippus. This year, eight. We could blame it on predators, parasites, pesticides, loss of habitat, human errors, natural occurrences, climate change or MC (mysterious circumstances), but we won't. We do know this: eight is not enough.

Just one butterfly is a miracle of nature. That's whether you

  • live in France and call it "papillon"
  • live in Italy and call it "palomma"
  • live in the Philippines and call it "paruparo"
  • live in Portugal and call it "borboleta"
  • live in Germany and call it “schmetterling"
  • live in Vietnam and call it "npau npaim"

Butterflies are the canaries in our coal mines. Their very presence indicates a healthy environment and healthy ecosystem and represent symbols of hope, love, joy, change, transformation, strength and endurance. 

They overcome the odds. We are part of those odds.

They are flowers with wings: flitting, fluttering and fluctuating flybys just out of our reach. Miracles of nature.

Merry Christmas! And may the best of what's to come be filled with butterflies.