Thursday, September 27, 2012

Knowing the Way

Monarch butterflies are astonishing creatures. Every Spring, tens of millions of monarchs leave their Winter refuge deep in central Mexico to journey to the southern states in the U.S., where each butterfly proceeds to lay hundreds of eggs. That generation, and sometimes the following generation of monarchs, then continues trekking across North America through June—arriving as far north as Canada’s prairie provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

At the end of summer, the monarch butterflies turn around and flutter 3,000 miles south, back to Mexico’s Michoacán Forest for the Winter.

This time of year, their journey takes them right through central Oklahoma. Even though the hot and dry summer has diminished the number of migrating monarchs this year, I have been delighted to watch the winged beauties dancing through and even roosting on the oak trees in our backyard this week.

I love the fact that scientists cannot explain their circular journey. They simply don’t know how these subsequent generations of monarchs can orient themselves and navigate each year towards a place they've never been before.

Pondering this miracle in nature, I can’t help but think of our wondrous God, “who made heaven and earth and sea and all that is in them”—a God who, like tending to the details of every single monarch, fills me with daily nourishment and gladness of heart.

monarchs traveling through Oklahoma 2012

By the way, if you want to become a “citizen scientist” and assist in the tracking of monarchs, drop by: