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Barb Lucas invites patrons to explore Kingdom of the Monarchs with July-August art wall display

Display Month: 
July, 2019
Photo of several monarch butterfly photos
Photo of the artist's granddaughter with a monarch on her shoulder

Hello Friends,
Every fall, hundreds of millions of monarch butterflies arrive in central Mexico completing a journey that began three to four generations earlier! They travel from Canada and the United States to the oyamel fir forest in the mountains. There they cluster together to stay safe and warm through the winter months. On warmer days they drink from puddles and stream edges and nectar on emerging flowers.

Last March I visited the Monarch Preserves near Angangueo Mexico. This trip to witness their migration was a spiritual pilgrimage. I have loved monarchs for decades. When my father passed away, they soothed my soul as they flitted across the landscape near me. It was a joy to be immersed in millions of monarchs in Mexico and the local culture that celebrates their annual return. Because monarch numbers have declined 90% in recent decades, I urge you to do what you can to help them out. We should all

• Protect native milkweed plants, the monarch's host plant for their eggs. Plant them in our flower beds, gardens, conservation plots and road sides.
• Curb global warming which is destroying oyamel fir forests in Mexico where the monarchs overwinter.
• Share the amazing story of the monarch migration with our children and grandchildren. This library has some great books to help you do that.

May the monarchs continue to thrive for centuries to come. save them, perhaps we'll save ourselves. For the good of the earth,
Barb Lucas

Mariposa Monarca

After a pilgrimage by plane. then bus, pickup truck, horse and finally on foot, we' re in the oyamel fir forest among the tall trees, walking a dusty path. Ahead, trees are filled with shadowy clumps, giant limbs hanging down. Walking closer clumps tum into tens of thousands of soft brown butterflies clustered together with folded wings, gently swaying on the branches. A.soft muffled vibration can just barely be sensed when the forest is still.

As grey clouds float away and blue skies appear, monarchs warm in the sunlight, then fly through open space. Some drop down and drink along small streams. Others pair up and mate along the dirt trail. The sky, once empty, now fills with active orange wings floating against an open sea of blue.. Humans sit in a trance, watching in wonder. Some are touched by butterflies landing to rest on their shoulders and legs.

As the afternoon warms, many monarchs nectar on wildflowers along the forest floor. Others begin to float down the mountain, thru fields and towns and start the long journey north.Three separate generations follow the spring milkweed plants as they emerge north to Canada. And in the fall, sun angled low in the sky, a final methuselah generation hears the call from home and rides the wind 3,000 miles south, back into the praying hands of the oyamel fir forest.
Barb Lucas. 4/14/19