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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!



Monday, 2 March 2015

El Rosario

As I mentioned in a previous post I have come to Mexico to see the Monarch butterfly migration. This annual migration begins in the northern parts of North America in the early Autumn. These Autumn born butterflies can live up to 9 months as opposed to Spring and Summer born Monarchs that live from 4-6 weeks. This special generation of butterflies then fly South to Central Mexico covering approx 300km a day. The journey takes them about a month and they then spend the winter in Mexico. In Spring they mate and start the journey to return North. However it is believed that it takes up to 5 generations before they manage to return to North America. None of the original Autumn born Monarchs survive to repeat the journey but their offspring always return to the same forests in Central Mexico.






 Today we had our own mini bus to take us to the El Rosario Sanctuary, 8 miles East of Ocampo. It made a pleasant change not to be travelling by public transport. The weather at last had changed and we had gorgeous blue skies and warm, delicious sunshine which meant the butterflies would be flying. The timing couldn't have been more perfect.

Horses were available to take you up to the top but 4 of us decided to walk. I hadn't felt the effects of the altitude until I started the walk. We were at about 10,000 feet and needed to get above 11,000ft so it was hard going for someone who lives at sea level. Mind you, we have been in Mexico for a week now and will have acclimatised a little.



We soon began to see the butterflies. As we walked upwards their numbers increased into the thousands - on the trees, on the ground and flying around.










One of the horses being ridden by his owner back to the beginning of the trail.











One minute they were all on the ground and then suddenly thousands of them took off into the air and we were surrounded by these beautiful creatures.







We stayed up there for quite some time taken loads and loads of photos and then sampled the local food.




















This was our hotel for the next two nights. It was in a beautiful spot with views of the mountains.




















The rooms were very large with an open fire which was lit for us in the evenings.

Sharing with  Our World Tuesday

34 comments:

  1. Oh wow, the butterflies are just amazing.. There are just so many of them, what a sight to see. I love the cute hotel and the cozy fireplace.. Great post, have a happy new week!

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  2. Marvelous captures of a beautiful place and I do love the butterflies!! And SO many!! And, I also love that fireplace! Looks so cozy and comfy for the evening!! Thanks for sharing!! Have a great new week!

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  3. What a fabulous experience to see all those Monarchs. Your timing was spot on to see so many.

    There is a population of Monarchs in Fuerteventura but I don't know about their breeding and migratory habits there. I'm guessing that a population grew from transatlantic vagrants and that the Canarian ones are different in some ways?

    Enjoy the rest (in front of the fire) of your holiday.

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  4. Great photos. I have read about this butterfly migration but it must have been really wonderful for you to see it all. I love the pic with the butterflies resting on your shirt!

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  5. This is a sight I have never seen! Amazing pictures....and you look quite content by that fire.

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  6. Oh what a very special event and all those butterflies photography! Beautiful!

    Happy Week to you,
    artmusedog and carol

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  7. In New Zealand, people plant swan plants for the monarch butterflies.

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  8. both my daughters had been to Mexico.

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  9. o my, this is wonderful. I have read articles and once seen it in a documentary program. But I would love to see it for myself. Lucky you!

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  10. What a wonderful sight! I'm excited to have a few monarchs in my garden every summer and plant milkweed to lure them there. And how nice to have a fire right in your room, very welcome at that altitude I'm sure.

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  11. Breathtakingly beautiful! What a wonderful sight! Now I want to go here...

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  12. Absolutely wonderful! I knew that the monarchs had a rough time a couple of years back, but they seem to be doing all right, judging by your pictures. Thank you! :-)

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  13. Wow, what a sight with all those butterflies. And what a glorious trip that must have been. Wanna go and see the butterflies someday.

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  14. wow, how absolutely amazing!!!

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  15. What a beautiful place, and all those butterflies are amazing!

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  16. There must be hundreds of thousands of them, if not millions. Just wonderful. Lady of the Manor looks very comfortable in front of the fire.

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  17. I am very jealous! (Read my post at http://cedarmerefarm.blogspot.com/2014/09/they-are-here.html and you will understand why I am jealous.) I wish I could be there to see these beautiful butterflies. You are very lucky.

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  18. What a delightful trip! Yes, I too have seen these Monarchs but not in this number!

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  19. OMG! This seems so magical! Blessed you to have witnessed this.

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  20. I'm so fascinated just seeing these pictures and reading your account.
    I love Monarch Butterflies but didn't know much about them. It was so nice learning about them and their migration. About 5 generation? And they manage to get back to the same forest. Wow!

    I'm sure seeing that many monarch butterflies was so overwhelming.
    Thank you for sharing this.

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  21. Incredible pictures of so many butterflies.

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  22. This is amazing so much butterflies you were surrounded by. Did you read "Flight Behavior" (2012) by Barbara Kingsolver? I did, it is all about the Monarch butterfly and I liked it very much. So nice to see your photos of them now. The hotel looks very nice as well.

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  23. Wow! Thats a real bucket list experience I would imagine!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  24. Amazing. Such a treat to be able to visit this unreal extravaganza of Nature.

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  25. Wow, I have never seen so many butterflies together ! I see hardly one in summer here, we have less and less.

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  26. What an amazing sight. Those butterflies. I have just shown your post to my 11 yr old daughter. we're both impressed. Wish we lived closer.

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  27. Wow, this is just fascinating! I've never seen so many butterflies before! Just great!

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  28. What a wonderful experience. I have been in a butterfly garden before and watched the butterflies flit around me and land but not in the numbers that you saw there. Was anything said about the reduced number of monarchs?

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  29. OMG, that is a terribly amazing trip! I just learned of those details just now, so i imagine that the 5 generations of butterflies are all bred in Mexico before a set of them returns to North America. I can't imagine what sort of homing genes they have that the rest dont have. And that flowering bush looks like what we have here in the tropics, a species we just see here recently after the Mt Pinatubo eruption.

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  30. Wow, what a fabulous trip! It must have been an awesome experience to be there when they all took flight!

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  31. What an amazing trip and what a wonderful sight to see! I visited one of the monarch butterfly's favorite tree groves in California in a town called Pacific Grove, but it was not the right time of the year to see their massive numbers--there were only a few hundred there at their time. Non-the -less they looked like jewels hanging form the tree tops so I can appreciate the sights you saw of thousands!

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  32. It makes me so happy to know there are so many of these miracles of nature and that they seem to be doing well. I love that you got to go there and thank you for sharing these amazing pictures.

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  33. Oh my gosh..I have to mark you blog...I would love to see this..I see so few monarchs here in upstate NY and find few eggs among the many milkweed plants we have. I am hoping this will be a better year for them. It has to warm up down south ...Michelle

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  34. That is an amazing story. I thought butterflies had a much shorter life span.

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