A few weeks ago I had the absolute pleasure of ticking this off my bucket list....witnessing a part of the monarch butterfly migration.
This generation of monarchs that I got to meet, (known as the "super generation") flew to Mexico and kept living for many months to fly down to here, until there are so many of them that the branches of the pine trees they rest on, tend to sag down. Now, the ones that are heading back north this spring, will only make it as far as northern Mexico or Texas, to lay their eggs and die. Then, the next generation will continue the journey, typically surviving for 2-3 weeks. It takes about four generations to get back to Canada. The caterpillars solely feed on milkweed, and that's why it's so important that we plant more and more of this wildflower (or just let it grow where it is) and stop our use of pesticides from our gardens, to our farms. The number of monarch butterflies have severely diminished in the past few years and we can't have such a beautiful phenomenon disappear. After all, these butterflies help pollinate our world.
Currently, I'm actually working on a project with a great company that is going to work towards helping plant and preserve the forest where these butterflies rest for the winter. I can't reveal anything yet until published, but I get to use illustration to indirectly aid these butterflies. I'm so in love with how ideal this project is! (Will possibly be out next year sometime.)
But in the meantime, when I get back to Canada, I am going to plant the shit out of milkweed. If you're interested in participating and happen to be in Toronto, check out the Homegrown National Park's Got Milkweed campaign and get ready to order some milkweed this April! x