Day 22: Migration

Monarch male showing its wings to attract a mate

Image via Wikipedia

Before I launch into today’s post, I am obligated to let you know that today is: 1) Elephant Appreciation Day, 2) Dear Diary Day, and  3) The Birthday of the Ice Cream Cone.

For some reason, I’ve never wondered about how the ice cream cone came to be, or where, or by whom. But I know we are all eternally grateful for that invention! If not for the cone, we’d be strolling through the park with our bowls of ice cream. Not quite as picturesque (or convenient).

If you own – or know – an elephant, make sure you thank them for all they do. And make sure you do it in grand style! Elephants never forget, you know.

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Wonderful sights and sounds herald the change of seasons in our little corner of the world. The regal trumpeting of Canada geese has begun to echo over harvested fields. And as winter approaches, the sky will become an aerial highway for these majestic birds. Wave after breath-taking wave of chevrons stitched to the heavens. Thousands of geese seeking respite in their travels north. Even though they are harbingers of snow, I love watching these birds. I love the mournful sound they make in stillness of a chilly, overcast day. To see them circle a chosen resting place and finally land almost in unison, makes my heart soar.

This time of year, Monarch butterflies embark upon their tortuous migration to California. They stop here for a brief moment to feed on milkweed and then continue to their pre-programmed destination: the Eucalyptus groves on the California coast. There they will gather, creating huge butterfly clusters like giant pine cones in the fragrant trees. Hundreds will flutter among the branches like bits of weightless confetti.

The monarch’s chrysalis is almost as beautiful as the butterfly itself. It is an amazing miniature sculpture shaped a little like a conch shell. The pale green of a summer chiffon dress, it is decorated with a delicate gold line around the circumference that looks as if it were painted on. It is almost unimaginable that a full-grown butterfly will emerge to begin its lifetime travels from that precious cocoon.

Canada geese and Monarch butterflies. Their time on this earth is fleeting, but just long enough, if we are vigilant, for us mere humans to delight in their passage. Don’t let this time pass you by. C

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