The fascinating annual migration of millions of monarch butterflies from summer feeding grounds in the eastern United States and Canada to central Mexico real estate has intrigued both scientists and casual observers worldwide for decades. This journey of more than 2,000 miles involves traveling through treacherous terrain to arrive in a land that is often under attack by loggers in late October or early November. Then,the butterflies hibernate in fir trees until February,when the warm spring sun encourages them to begin a mating ritual that seems as old as time itself.
The new 3D IMAX documentary film,Flight of the Butterflies,depicts the initial discovery in early 1975 of this nearly unbelievable phenomenon and follows the migration itself,which is a journey that can take up to three generations. According to the Sydney Morning Herald,the film also depicts stunning footage of a single butterfly in flight and portrays thousands of the tiger-striped beauties erupting after resting on a branch deep in the Mexican forest.
According to a recent article by the Associated Press that was published in Tampa Bay Times,the butterflies are,by all accounts,a “magical sight” and witnessing their awakening is an incredible experience that will never be forgotten. Each year brings adventurous new visitors who come to Mexico’s butterfly sanctuaries to experience the migration firsthand,taking a two-hour bus trip from Mexico City.
According to the Huffington Post’s Travel blog,one popular destination in “butterfly country” as it is popularly known,can be found in Pablo and Lisette Span’s Rancho San Cayetano,which offers lush,beautifully manicured grounds and cozy rooms that each come with a private working fireplace. Guests tend to mingle and chat over meals and the nearby El Capulin reserve is just a half hour ride from the property. From here,guests can hike or rent horses to explore,viewing monarchs aplenty if they go at the right time of year,with millions of them flying,diving,dining on nectar and seeking their mates.
The great mystery of the monarchs is the fact that most live for only four or five weeks,but the generations that make the long migratory journey to Mexico reportedly live much longer – at least four or five months. Here,they breed and the females lay their eggs along the road north before dying along with the males. Miraculously,one year and five butterfly generations later,their descendents will return,migrating south again to the exact same forested area in central Mexico.