Thursday, March 10, 2016

My favorite monarch experience

Our final day with the monarchs was pretty special.  Each day had gotten better and better, and we all remarked that it couldn't possibly continue in the trend.  But all be darned if it did!

We returned to El Rosario, this time first thing in the morning when the butterflies were just starting to wake up and move around.  The sunshine invigorated them, making for a different experience compared to our first visit a couple days prior.

Time for morning coffee, as it were:

Patch of sunny monarchs:

Partway up the path we found a stream of butterflies shooting across through a clearing in the trees, following beams of sunlight.  It was mesmerizing and fascinating, we had to stop and watch.  I tried to capture it in video, to get just a small sense of what it was like.

The highway of monarchs:

Kathy and a monarch fly-by:

Every sunlit branch around us was covered in vibrant, moving orange:

When the wind blew, it kicked up huge swirls of "living leaves":

My first new friend of the morning:

The group taking it all in, even the butterfly on Mom's hat seems entranced by the goings-on:

Tags that were found in the refuge, available for purchase so we could report the tag number and help track where each butterfly had migrated from - why yes of course we'd love to do that!  Our # has been sent in, awaiting info on the start location for our tag:

Playing around with something I totally did not expect to work - digi-scoping with my binoculars (no tripod) and little camera.  What?  It's actually kind of a clear photo?  That's a surprise.  Here's one of the "digi-zoomed" images of the butterfly clumps:

Or I can just take close-in shots of the monarchs that hung out right next to us, so beautiful:

Monarchs flying around the trees:

Can you tell I will never get tired of this?

Looks like they are on a march across the land, walking over anything in their way...

And then even more magic happened, as monarchs were landing on us right and left.  They liked Conny's green shirt:

Monarch selfie:

Mom standing by "monarch tree" - with one investigating her nose!  I probably would have sneezed:

Such a neat feeling to have these majestic creatures sunning themselves on my hat and back:

A pair on Mom's white hat:

We couldn't stop smiling:

The star butterfly:

I think we could have stood there all day for this:

Nice couple photos from Piet and Conny, thank you!

Well, our guides finally told us we had to leave, sigh.  No idea how long we were there, but the memories will stay for a lifetime.

Monarchs gathering in the field to bid us goodbye:

Or maybe just to get a drink...

Mom and Conny walking down the trail amid swirling monarchs:

Thank you, butterflies, that was AMAZING!!!

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