Monday, March 7, 2016

Day 2 with the Monarchs in Mexico

Our second day with the butterflies, yay!  This time we drove to the Chincua sanctuary, another monarch wintering location.

Most of the group rode horses to reach the area of the colonies, while I was happy to again have the option to walk.

I did enjoy watching everyone get saddled up on the beautiful small steeds.  Hi Mom!

Heading off across the field toward the woods on another amazingly gorgeous day (we were so lucky with the weather the whole week):

Pausing to admire the view of the valley and surrounding hills:

And what a beautiful woods, the walk was lovely and we met up with the horses at the other end of the trail:

Walking the final section down to the monarchs:

There's one!

I could usually find one hanging around allowing for a closer look:

Then, the magic of millions of butterflies.  This experience could not possibly ever get old.

Another attempt to show the "rafts" of butterflies (I'm sure "raft" isn't the right word since they aren't floating on water, but that's what it reminds me of), large masses of monarchs hanging together:

Unzoomed photo:

A less-than-stellar few seconds of shaky video trying to capture the monarchs in motion:

In small groups we got to climb up above the colony and see something of a top-down view of the whole thing, butterflies from way down below, all the way to way up in the sky above us.  Here's a photo that cannot begin to do justice to this amazing experience:

Standing there, watching and listening, we can actually hear them... listening closely we could hear the brushes of wings against leaves nearby.  A light but constant rustle, something unexpected in the otherwise-silent woods.

The sound is sort of there in this video, in the background behind the wind noise:

Love the diving and soaring in the sky above us!

A few more static pictures, orange among the greenery:

Hey little camera, that's a decent shot!

Another nice close-up:

Another look at the butterflies all around us:

"No te las lleves" - don't take them with you.  Except the wonderful memories and images that will stick in my mind for a very long time.

At the watering hole, on the trail back to the horses:

Linda joined me for the walk back through the woods, and our guide was kind enough to take a picture for us at the end:

Finishing up the trail ride for the day:

The little shops with crafts for sale:

And a photo for John:

Back down in the town of Angangueo, our guides gave us a tour of the town square and churches.

A large town mural with some history and beautiful butterfly paintings:

Monarchs everywhere  :)

Melissa telling the story of the town through the mural:

Self-portrait of the artist, I believe:

Our group visited a class of 3rd graders at the local school, enjoying a chance to meet some kids, share school supplies, and color pictures of butterflies together.  We had fun taking pictures together with the children:

Another amazing day!

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