Saturday, December 16, 2017

Monarch Butterflies!

We're already in farewell mode – I mean, we're moving in less than a month! So, every experience left counts. And if you find yourself on a day tour (courtesy of Moishe House, about which I've written before) to visit a Monarch butterfly sanctuary... wow, I mean, how much more special could it get?

We had an awfully early morning last Sunday. Fortunately, our wonderful hosts at Camp Lago y Tierra in Valle de Bravo (Estado de México) more than compensated by surprising us with a delicious and very energy-rich breakfast of chilaquiles, eggs sunny side up, bread and coffee. Yum!



Now fully awake and energized, and after a quick tour of the camp, we drove to the sanctuary itself, a park called Piedra Herrada situated in San Mateo Almomoloa. Once at the park, we took a well kept path that in theory would lead to our hibernating visitors from Canada...



Alas, this year the Methuselah butterflies (so called because the migrating generation lives about 9 times longer than average, so it may complete the voyage to Mexico and back) decided to "park" a bit higher up. Just because, I assume. Which meant a hike up steep and hastily cleared paths. I mean, the views of the forest were fantastic, and you'd see butterflies flying downhill towards springs in the valley behind, but it was still a long, steep hike on dry dirt paths!

Lucky for us, this is one of those cases where your effort does most absolutely pay off. As we got closer to the de facto sanctuary, more and more butterflies were flying or lying around. 



And then, the holy grail. For which to had to keep quiet in order not to disturb the hibernation, lest butterflies get flustered unnecessarily, waste energy, and then die before reaching home back in Canada. That should get you quiet, right? Anyhow, the silence, the majesty of all those butterfly clusters hanging from leaves and branches, the beauty of the sun blasting its rays through the wings of the papalomeh (plural of papalotl, Nahuatl for butterfly and, in local folklore the departed souls of loved ones coming back home). So peaceful, so spiritual in a nature-is-unfathomable way... 









It was hard to leave. Like, why leave? But we had to get back to camp to eat. And so we bid farewell to this natural wonder, enjoyed a beautiful hike down surrounded by forest, bought some treats like hive honey (the perfect chewable candy!)... 




And, once back at camp, we had a few final activities, like lemon and avocado picking, a round of reflection on what a fantastic day it had been and on allowing ourselves to be child-like again filled with wonder and whimsicality and good faith...





This is most definitely not our final "farewell-Mexico" activity. But what a wonderful gift in our last few weeks, right? Thanks, Moishe House. Thanks, indescribable nature. Thanks, sun. 

No comments: