- Attention Conservation Notice:
- Deliberately makes no
mention whatsoever of desert warfare, raging street
protests, or giant thermobaric bombs
Our protagonist, Danaus plexippus.
Some butterflies use high-tech, advanced photonic crystals!
This mindboggling panorama of the entire coastline
of California might come in handy if you
migrate by flapping your wings.
Maybe druidess Julia "Butterfly" Hill will flap
in to the next PlaNetwork.
Sometimes even slimy microbes aspire to the
elegance of butterflies.
What could beat the Viridian-artsiness of
a German-made Andy Goldsworthy movie? Call
the local artfilm nook and demand that they
book it, so you can stop reading warblogs.
- Planet Ark, story by Karina Balderas
"Monarch butterflies recover from killer freeze
MEXICO: March 14, 2003
"OCAMPO, Mexico == Famed for a mysterious annual migration
from Canada to Mexico, Monarch butterflies have shown a
remarkable tenacity by recovering from a cold snap in
Mexico last year that killed at least 65 million of them.
(((That's right == this Viridian Note conveys really good
news about butterflies!)))
"Tens of millions of black and orange Monarchs neared the
end of their winter sojourn in the mountains of central
Mexico this week to the relief of biologists who feared
their numbers would be seriously depleted this year."
(((There are zillions of 'em! The glorious megafauna
of the insect world!)))
"'We were waiting anxiously because we didn't know
whether the butterfly phenomenon would be repeated after
such a big kill,' said biologist Marco Antonio Bernal,
director of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in
(((They've got a special biosphere reserve named
just after them alone!)))
"'We were astonished to see that, with good conditions
in the United States and Canada, they could recover their
population density and come to Mexico,' he said."
(((They're blowing the minds of trained experts!)))
"Believed to be guided by the sun or the earth's
magnetic field, Monarch communities fly several thousand
miles from Canada and the northern United States to Mexico
every year, arriving in October and November."
(((Nobody's got the least idea how they do it, but
they don't even care, they just do it!)))
"Monarchs spend winter in the pine-clad mountains of
Michoacan state and the state of Mexico and fly to Canada
in the spring."
(((They were NAFTA before there was NAFTA! They pay not
the least attention to paranoid security measures at the
borders of the United States!)))
"Butterflies die during migration but also mate, making
it possible for their descendants to complete the
(((It's a stark but triumphant confrontation with
sex and death!)))
"The migration fascinates scientists, who did not
realize where the insects went every year until the mid-
(((Would we could all return to those halcyon years
of soaring gas prices and Viet Nam == oh wait, never
mind that part.)))
"'It is the only insect capable of making such a long
journey, that's why it is called the Monarch,' said
Mexican biologist Alejandra Hinojosa."
(((A blatant lie, but hey, for a scientist, that is so
"Officials said some 83 million butterflies returned to
Mexico this season to occupy 8.3 hectares of a 56,000-
hectare reserve, 155 miles (250 km) from Mexico City."
"Last year, reserve officials put the population at 93
million occupying 9.3 hectares, of which an estimated 65
million died when temperatures fell unexpectedly in
"The cold snap led scientists to question whether the
number of butterflies making the annual trek is actually
much higher than previously thought. One scientific count
estimated 270 million dead, or double the high end of
previous estimates of the annual Mexico migration."
(((But they're back, that's the point! They took
a body-hit, went back to the eggs and cocoons and came
back in a solid airborne horde! Those little guys are
tougher than Mexican cactus!)))
"Floating like leaves amid the Oyamel fir trees, the
butterflies engage in a final ritual before leaving
Mexico: an airborne mating dance. By the end of March the
forest will be virtually empty of them as they head
O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O
THIS TOO SHALL PASS
O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O